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Palm Sunday

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A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?"
"You see,” Dad answers, “when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today." The little boy replied, " Aw Shucks! The one Sunday I miss, is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"
Today is the Sunday before the blessed celebration of Resurrection Day, which we call “Palm Sunday”. It’s also known as the “Triumphant Entry Of Christ”.
It is believed that Jesus actually entered Jerusalem on 3 different occasions … on a Saturday, a Sunday, and again on a Monday. Let’s take a look at what took place on “Palm Sunday”.
This morning, I want to walk with you alongside Jesus as he entered Jerusalem this week in scripture:
Luke 19 starting at v.28
Luke 19:28–44 ESV
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
19:28 – Jesus had come from Jericho (about 19 miles away), where he healed the Blind Bartimeus, and spoke to Zaccheus. He had just spoken the parable of the 10 minas/pounds (three months wages), and was on His way to Jerusalem.
19:29 – Bethphage was a suburb of Jerusalem & was the adjacent village to Bethany. Jesus probably spent the night in Bethany, at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, where Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. Here, Judas had a fit, at the apparent waste of expensive perfume. John 12:5-7
John 12:5–7 ESV
5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.
Jesus sends 2 of His Disciples to Bethphage on a key mission.
19:30 – Jesus wanted to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. This was UNUSUAL for Jesus. Why? well, we always find Him WALKING in scripture… never riding an animal.
So WHY A DONKEY? There weren’t many HORSES in that area. Only the rich and the nobility rode horses. Horses were associated with WAR and aggression/force. When the conquering King came into a city after a conquest, he would ride on a horse. BUT … when the King came into a city riding on a donkey, it was a symbol of PEACE. This is a prophetic (typological) fulfillment of Zech. 9:9 as Ted just read. It must be remembered that the donkey (mule, cf. 2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kgs. 1:33) was a royal mount of the kings of Israel. This was a symbol of Jesus’ kingliness in addition to Him being a king of peace.
WHY A WILD DONKEY? He specifically asked for a colt that had never been ridden before … not broken for riding. WHY? PERHAPS, it is to show the submission of an unbroken animal to the Master. Jesus could tame a wild animal … BUT … the stubborn hearts of the Jews would not be broken. They wouldn’t submit to Him in their hearts as their King.The reason it was a colt that no one had ridden is because the king had his own donkey that no one else rode (cf. 1 Kgs. 1:33).
19:31 – This “If” here is a THIRD CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCE, which denotes potential action.
Jesus didn’t own a donkey … He had to borrow one. The only material goods that He owned and He left behind, were the clothes on His back. AND … the soldiers gambled for them when they crucified Him.
Jesus didn’t attach Himself to this world. We’re just pilgrims here … sojourners … passing through. We shouldn’t let the world have such a grasp on us … AND … we shouldn’t have such a grasp on this world … THAT … we have more treasure here than in Heaven. It was Corrie Ten Boom who once said that the problem with grasping the things of this world too tightly, is that, when God has to pry our hands loose, it hurts!
19:32 – Jesus had either apparently made arrangements with the owners of the donkey and the colt on a previous trip to Jerusalem. Jesus could have told the owner: “The next time I’m in Jerusalem, I’ll need to borrow your donkey and colt I’ll send some men in to get them.” OR...Jesus had (more likely) used His supernatural knowledge.
19:33 – When they got to Bethphage, they saw the donkey, just like Jesus said. The owners of the donkey saw the 2 men untying the 2 animals, and, naturally, asked what they were doing. For all they knew, they were trying to steal the animals.
19:34 – When they said this, the owners knew that it was Jesus who had sent them to get the animals. Apparently, they believed in Jesus as their Messiah, and were glad to offer them to Him.
In reality, everything belongs to Jesus, anyway! It was Jesus, who spoke, and the world was created … and everything in it. So, in reality, we are only stewards of all that God has allowed us to use for Him. Everything we have ought to be for the Master’s use. It’s profound arrogance to refuse Jesus what is rightfully His in the first place. We cannot be so hording of our earthly wealth … as so to withhold it from even Jesus.
19:35-36 – The 2 Disciples put their coats on the young colt, for Jesus to use as a saddle. WHY is THIS IMPORTANT to MENTION?
In Old Testament times, to show their respect to a King, people would put their clothes down for the King to walk on them. The people did this when Jehu was anointed the new King of Israel. 2 Kings 9:12-13 - ’Thus says the Lord, "I have anointed you king over Israel." [13] Then they hurried and each man took his garment and placed it under him on the bare steps, and blew the trumpet, saying, "Jehu is king!"
2 Kings 9:12–13 ESV
12 And they said, “That is not true; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” 13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”
So again, This was a sign of kingship toward Jesus
Here, Jesus is coming into Jerusalem as their King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
o He is riding in on a donkey, as a King would come in peace. but something here with Jesus is totally different than with any king they’ve known before
o He will soon be given a crown … but it will be a crown of thorns.
o A sign will be placed over His head, saying, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” as he is gruesomely killed in just a few days.
Jesus wasn’t the kind of King they were hoping for. They wanted a King to rid them of Roman rule. They wanted a PHYSICAL King who would hang around for many more years… a Messiah who would use His miracles in a revolt against Roman rule. They wanted a King who would:
o Feed their army, like He fed the 5000, with 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
o Heal the wounded, like He did the lepers, the lame, and the sick.
o Raise the dead Jewish soldiers, like He did Lazarus.
They weren’t interested in a King who came to set up a kingdom first in their HEARTS, then in a far future. They didn’t want a “Price of Peace” … they wanted a “Prince of War” right now. They not only didn’t want to be under the authority of Rome … yet they also didn’t want to be under the authority of God’s Son.
We still have that problem today. The world wants a Savior who won’t allow anyone go to Hell. Our culture believes in “justice” … as long as it doesn’t condemn them to Hell. Americans don’t mind crowning Jesus as the Lord of our lives … as long as we don’t have to submit to His rule and authority in our daily lives, He certainly cannot inconvience the busy American worker. We want a Savior who will take us to Heaven … but we don’t want to live for Him on the way there.
Jesus wasn’t the Savior they expected … or wanted. Maybe we too can get the wrong expectations of Jesus. Maybe we expect Jesus to be more like the sentimental and cute Easter Bunny, or the jolly Santa Clause, or a magical wish granter like a genie in a lamp. But Jesus came to RULE YOUR life … to take control of your every day … to be the Lord of your world. The Jews didn’t want to SUBMIT to that and neither do many people today.
19:37-38 – Listen to Matthew 21:8 – This was the kind of entry given to a conquering victor … like the “red carpet” treatment for a military victory.
Matthew 21:8 ESV
8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
This treatment didn’t last very long at the feet of Jesus—less than one week, but He will receive due praise as King one day when EVERY ONE will fall at the feet of Jesus. Romans 14:11
Romans 14:11 ESV
11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
–Those who didn’t fall at His feet and submit to Him as their Savior … they will fall forcefully at His feet and submit to Him as their Judge. Everybody WILL profess that Jesus is the Savior. Where you will spend eternity depends on WHEN you make this profession … before or after death.
NOTICE in our passage here in verse 37 who was shouting this … the “disciples”. This wasn’t just the 12 Disciples, but the crowds who had followed Jesus throughout the latter part of His ministry. They believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah, and that He was coming to set up the Millennial Kingdom that God had promised them right now. They had heard of the raising of Lazarus from the dead … and perhaps, even possibly saw him there in the crowd. This was not just another Passover!
Matthew says that they also shouted, (Matthew 21:9)
Matthew 21:9 ESV
9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
It must have seemed as if the whole of Jerusalem erupted in spontaneous joy as our Lord of glory approached the city.
“Hosanna” is Hebrew and means ‘save now’. Just like we can shout now “Come, Lord Jesus” as we wait for the rapture and His second coming. “Lord, save us from this world of sin, and take us home to be with you.” They were as anxious for the Millennial Kingdom, as we are for the rapture of the Church.
Jesus had a different plan to start up the kingdom. First, He must rule and reign in the hearts of those who would trust Him as their Savior. When Jesus comes at the rapture, He will take His followers of this kingdom with Him, and then return to set up the Millennial Kingdom that God promised the Jews.
There were all kinds of people in the crowd that day.
o Some were the “disciples”, who were proclaiming Jesus as their Messiah.
o Some were silently watching … not saying a word … uncommitted.
o Some were caught up in the moment … joining the band-wagon … going along with the crowd. These would in just a few days be shouting “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
o Some were watching … but not silently … like the Pharisees.
19:39 – Why was this so important … that Jesus put a stop to this demonstration? It could be argued that the Pharisees expected to see the Roman soldiers coming any time now. After all, these people were calling Jesus their KING! The Romans proclaimed Caesar as their King. The Pharisees could fear and expect to see soldiers coming to break up the demonstration with brutal force … and a riot to follow.
But the Pharisees were also intimidated by Jesus. They were jealous of His following. They were angry at His rebuke of them. Later, when Jesus was brought before Pilate, listen to the crowds NOW - John 19:14-15
John 19:14–15 ESV
14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
... (Pilate) said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!"...The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
19:40 –This “if” is a FIRST CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCE so it is to be assumed as true.
The Pharisees would soon silence the crowd … BUT … Jesus WILL BE praised! Isaiah 55:12
Isaiah 55:12 ESV
12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
19:41 – As Jesus passed over the Mount of Olives, He had a full view of the city. He begins to weep. WHY? Because He knew what was ahead for them … because they would reject Him and crucify Him.
It is only reported 2 times that Jesus wept. He cried just before He raised Lazarus from the dead. WHY’s that? Partly because He saw the unbelief and hurt in the hearts of Mary & Martha. NOW … He sees the unbelief in the hearts of the Jews. He knows what will happen because of the hardness of their hearts.
19:42 - This is an incomplete SECOND CLASS CONDITIONAL SENTENCE The Jewish leadership and most of the population of Jerusalem (“even you”) did not know the significance of Jesus’ coming.
This refers to spiritual peace, peace with God which comes only through faith in Christ. Jesus brought this peace if they would only listen to Him and respond (cf. Isa. 48:18). Jesus was not the kind of Messiah they expected, so they rejected Him and by so doing, sealed their physical (destruction of Jerusalem) and spiritual (personal and corporate being lost) doom.
19:43-44 – This is Jesus’ reference to Jerusalem being destroyed in their future, 70 AD when Titus comes and levels the city, slaughtering the inhabitants without reserve.
Jesus came to bring them “peace” (19:42). BUT … they didn’t know that the Son of God had visited them as “Jesus”.
Here were a people who had refused to hear God’s voice. Soon a punishment would be sent to them which would be remembered throughout all time.
I chose to stop here first because of time, but second for you to be spurred on in your own studies this week. I exhort you to be in the 4 Gospels this week and meditate on the “holy week” day by day and see the stark contrast of the attitudes of the people in scripture from the start of this week to the end of this week and the intensity of the emotions from Sunday to Sunday this holy week. You already know how Friday ends, with the death of our Lord. But Sunday is coming!
The Bible has lots to say about “tears”. There were tears here just yesterday. I believe that Jesus weeps even to today … as He sees those who continue to reject Him. Jesus will one day tell those who rejected Him:
Luke 13:27–28 ESV
27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.
For those who trust Him as Savior, (Rev. 21:4)
Revelation 21:4 ESV
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Jesus wants to make a “Triumphant Entry” into your heart this morning. When you stand before Him one day, He will either say, those words: “Depart from Me, I never knew you” … OR … “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
That day for you can either be TRIUMPH … or TRAGEDY. Tears of SORROW, or tears of JOY. If you’ve never trusted Jesus as YOUR Savior … do so today, right now.
Let’s PRAY
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