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A Day of Presentation

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A Day of Presentation
Luke 19:29-44

Can you believe that we are only a few short weeks until Easter?  You may be thinking, “Easter, it’s only February!”  True as this may be, Easter this year falls on March 23rd, so we are only six Sunday’s away; if you include today. 

Easter is the greatest celebration of all of the holidays; even greater than Christmas.  Why?  Because it is on Easter day when the Lord rose from the dead and sealed our salvation.  Without the resurrection of Christ, we would have no assurance and no salvation.  We would be no different than the thousands of religious cults around the world.  But we are different, because we have the assurance that our salvation was secured when Jesus said it is finished on the cross, died in our place, and rose from the dead three days later.

Ok, so we talk about Easter quite a bit in the church and especially of the resurrection of Christ; we may even flip our Bible open to Matthew and read chapters 27 and 28 to read the account of the crucifixion and resurrection.  Maybe.  But what about the days leading up to the crucifixion?  Did you know that Luke spends a fifth of his Gospel account dedicated to the last week of Jesus’ life?  That’s five chapters for but only one week.  There must be something here that God felt was extremely important.  So, over the next several weeks, we are going to look at each day of the Lord’s final week.  This week starts with what we know as Palm Sunday.

Although we have chosen to dedicate a day on our calendars to show the significance of Palm Sunday, the reality is that it probably has the least amount of “stuff” that happens.  On Palm Sunday, we see a bulging crowd, a borrowed burro, a blessed entry, a bold cry, a blasphemous request, and a beloved city.  While we really could probably dedicate a Sunday or two to each of these, let’s take an overview of what the first day of the Lord’s Last week on earth was like.

A Bulging Crowd

We need to set the stage a little before really diving into the text.  The week that Jesus rode into town was the week leading in to Passover.  In this week, people from all around would gather to the temple and purchase their lamb or turtle doves to sacrifice.  So, you can imagine that the streets would be crowded with men, women, and children; there would be loads of animals from the burros that they would ride in on, to the lambs and doves that were to be sacrificed.  But this Passover was different.  John 12:12 says, "The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem," (John 12:12, HCSB)[1]  See all these people were already there, but when they heard that Jesus was coming, they knew that He was coming to fulfill the prophecy and become the Passover Lamb.  It is by no coincidence that the crucifixion and resurrection happened at Passover; it showed the doubting people that God had sent the final atonement for their, and our, sin.  That He was to be the sacrificial Lamb who would take the sin of the world upon His shoulder.  But, those who were in doubt also knew that the Bible was very specific on how this King would come in to town.

A Borrowed Burro

Luke is known for recording his Gospel account with great detail.  So great, that he even records where the Lord was coming from before He entered Jerusalem.  Luke 19:29, “"As He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives…" (Luke 19:29, HCSB)[2]  Does this mean a whole lot to us?  Not normally, but God wanted us to realize where Jesus was in His travels. To give us an idea of where these places are, Bethany and Bethphage are approximately two miles east of Jerusalem. 

Now we know that the Mount of Olives is named because that is where they grew olives.  Pretty simple.  But what about Bethphage?  Bethpage means “house of figs.” So picture a land up on a mountainside with a beautiful little village nestled in.  It is in this town that we find the Lord’s borrowed burro.  Luke 19:29-31 says,

As He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’” (Luke 19:29-31, HCSB)[3] [pg 452]


[1]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian Standard Version. Nashville : Holman Bible Publishers, 2003

[2]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian Standard Version. Nashville : Holman Bible Publishers, 2003

[3]  The Holy Bible : Holman Christian Standard Version. Nashville : Holman Bible Publishers, 2003

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