The King Has Come for You
The King Has Come for You
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 17, 2017
(Revised December 11, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 12, as we focus on one of the greatest wonders of Christianity. Today's Scripture took place on the day that we call Palm Sunday. It was the day of the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. And it was a very important moment in the mission of our Lord, important enough to be recorded in all four Gospels. By this time, Jesus had already raised Lazarus from the dead, and we are less than a week away from the cross. (1)
*One of the most important things to know about this Scripture is that when Jesus Christ went into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, He was firmly committed to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem to receive praise from His adoring fans. Jesus rode into the city with His heart fixed firmly on the cross. Luke 9:51 says: "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem."
*As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He was determined to die for us. John reminds us of this truth in vs. 9-11:
9. Then a great many of the Jews knew that He was there (i.e. there eating with Lazarus); and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
10. But the chief priests took counsel that they might also put Lazarus to death,
11. because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
*You see, the unbelieving chief priests had wanted to kill Jesus for months. And after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the religious rulers made the Lord's death a matter of official policy. In John 11:47-54:
47. . . the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.
48. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.''
49. And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,
50. nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.''
51. Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52. and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.
53. Then from that day on they plotted to put Him to death.
54. Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.
*Now here in John 12, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, and He knew He was riding into the jaws of death. But Jesus did that out of His love for both His Father and us!
*William Barclay explained: "Never in the world's history has there been such a display of magnificently deliberate courage as the Triumphal Entry. We must remember that Jesus was an outlaw and that the authorities were determined to kill him. All prudence would have warned him to turn back for Galilee or the desert places.
*If he was to enter Jerusalem at all, all caution would have demanded that he enter secretly and go into hiding. But he came in such a way as to focus every eye upon himself. It was an act of the most superlative courage. . . And it was an act of the most superlative love, for it was love's last appeal before the end. (2)
*With this background in mind, let's read John 12:9-18, and see what the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem means for us today.
*Christians: Aren't you glad that Jesus came down that road 2,000 years ago? -- Yes, of course! But one of the greatest wonders of Christianity is that Jesus Christ has come here too. By His Holy Spirit, our risen Savior has come here today just as surely as He went into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. The King has come! And He wants to come to you.
1. FIRST JESUS COMES AS THE LORD OF LIFE.
*Verses 9-11 remind us of this great truth. John said:
9. Then a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
10. But the chief priests took counsel that they might also put Lazarus to death,
11. because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
*Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, not after he had been dead 4 seconds or 4 minutes, but after he had been dead for 4 days! It was an amazing miracle of God! Nobody could have done that but Jesus Christ. And now the chief priests were planning to kill Lazarus again.
*Do you think Lazarus was afraid to die? -- No way! Lazarus wasn't afraid, because he had already been to the other side, and he knew that Jesus is the Lord of life. Jesus has the miraculous power to give both physical life and eternal life.
*There are many strong men in this world. But the only man who could ever break the chains of death is Jesus Christ! That's because Jesus is the eternal Son of God and the source of all life.
*John 1:1-4 confirms this truth for us. There John called Jesus "The Word" and said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."
*Jesus Christ is the Lord of life! Paul also confirmed this truth in Colossians 1:15-16, where he said this about Jesus: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him." There are many strong men in this world, but only Jesus is stronger than death and the grave. Only Jesus is strong enough to be the Lord of life.
*Twenty years ago, I got to see some awesome feats of strength performed by Keith Davis from the Power Team. Keith took a wooden baseball bat and pushed it against his thigh until it snapped like a toothpick. I told Bobby Wilson I probably could have broken that bat, -- with my car.
*Then Keith took a one-inch steel bar about 6 feet long, wrapped a rag around the center. -- Put it in his mouth, and bent it into the shape of a "U."
*Keith then gave his Christian testimony, and he said, "My true sign of my strength is not my bench press. My true sign of strength is this…" Then he held up that broken bat in the shape of a cross. Keith also said, "When I got saved, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I didn't just believe in the Lord; I belonged to the Lord."
*Jesus Christ is the Lord of life. But is He the Lord of your life? He wants to be, and He can be. But you have to trust in the Lord.
2. JESUS COMES TO US AS THE LORD OF LIFE. HE ALSO COMES AS THE KING OF KINGS.
*When the Lord rode into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, He rode into the city as a King. Verses12-13 make this truth clear:
12. The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13. took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!''
*Some of the people there that day were worshiping Jesus as their long-promised king. Rightly so because Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah and King of Israel. The palm branches they spread on the road were used to give great honor to a victorious warrior or king. "Hosanna" means, "Save us! -- Oh, save us!" That's what the people were crying out to Jesus.
*William Barclay explained the scene for us and said: "At such a time Jerusalem and the villages around it were crowded. On one occasion a census was taken and there must have been as many as 2,700,000 people at that Passover Feast.
*The words the people used to greet Jesus are a quotation from Psalm 118:25-26. That psalm was definitely on the minds of the people. It was last Psalm in the group known as 'the Praising Psalms.' These Psalms were part of the first memory work every Jewish boy had to do. They were sung often at great times of public praise and thanksgiving in the Temple. And they were an essential part of the Passover ritual.
*On top of that, this Psalm was considered to be 'the conqueror's psalm.' There is no doubt that when the people sang this Psalm they were looking on Jesus as God's Anointed One, the Messiah, the Deliverer, the King who was to come. And there is no doubt that they were looking on Jesus as the conquering King. To them it would be only a matter of time until the trumpets rang out, the call to arms was sounded, and the Jewish nation swept to its long-delayed victory over Rome and the world." (3)
*Most of them did not understand. They didn't understand our desperate need for a suffering Messiah. They did not understand our need for the cross. They did not understand the need for Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. So in vs. 13, they were crying out, "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' The King of Israel!'' But later that week, many of those same people would be crying out, "Crucify Him! -- Crucify Him!"
*Many of the people there on the first Palm Sunday were not truly worshiping God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This reminds us that we may physically be in church, but that doesn't mean our heart is here. Simply being here doesn't mean we are truly worshiping God. But God the Father is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
*What kind of worship is that? Melvin Newland gave one of the best summaries I ever heard, and he said, "The English word 'worship' means 'to give the highest worth to.' So when we worship, we're saying, 'God, you are number one in my life. You come before anything or anyone else.'"
*The Old Testament word that is usually translated as 'worship' means 'To bow down, to humble ourselves, to recognize God's sovereignty, and to express reverence in His presence.' The most common New Testament word for 'worship' is a picture of affectionate kissing, like a dog licking its master's hand. This 'kissing' word expresses the ideas of love, loyalty, and undying gratitude.
*When you put it all together, you come up with this: Worship is when we come to God and recognize who He is. We say, 'God, you are number one in my life.' We humble ourselves before Him. We recognize that He is Sovereign and the source of authority. We also express our love, loyalty and undying gratitude to Him." (4)
*And we should do all these things, because our Risen Savior Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship. He is worthy of our worship because of who He is: The Almighty God, Creator of all, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is also worthy of our worship because of what He has done: He came to earth for us, suffered on the cross for us, and took the guilt for our sin. Now our Risen Savior offers forgiveness, eternal life, a home in Heaven, and much more to everyone who will trust in Him. The King of Kings is worthy of our worship!
3. AND JESUS COMES TO US AS THE KING OF KINGS. BUT HE ALSO COMES AS THE PRINCE OF PEACE.
*To understand this truth, we have to take a deeper look at vs.14-15:
14. Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15. "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt.''
*The fact that Jesus came riding on a donkey was very important. William Barclay explained that "in this situation, it was obviously impossible for Jesus to speak to the crowd. His voice could not have reached that vast assembly of people, so he did something that all could see: He came riding upon a donkey's colt.
*Now that was two things. First, it was a deliberate claim to be the Messiah. We know this, because by riding that donkey, Jesus intentionally fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, where God's Word says, 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.'
*There is no doubt at all that Jesus was claiming to be the promised Messiah. But, second, it was a claim to be a certain kind of Messiah, and we must not miss this picture. With us the donkey is a lowly animal, but in Old Testament days, donkeys were considered to be noble animals. In 2 Samuel 19:26, Mephibosheth the royal prince came to David riding upon a donkey.
*Donkeys were considered to be noble animals. They were also considered to be a symbol of royal peace. The point was that when a king was coming to fight, he came riding on a horse, but when he came in peace, he rode on a donkey. This action of Jesus was a sure sign that He was coming as the Prince of Peace." And that is why Luke 19:37-38 says, "Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!' PEACE in heaven and glory in the highest!'' (2)
 JESUS CAME TO GIVE US PEACE: ETERNAL PEACE.
*This is the most crucial peace: peace with God, and it can only come from Jesus Christ. As Paul said in Colossians 1:19-20, "For it pleased the Father that in Him (i.e. in Jesus) all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made PEACE through the blood of His cross."
*Then Romans 10:15 says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"' And Romans 5:1 explains to Christians that "having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
 JESUS CAME TO GIVE ETERNAL PEACE TO ALL WHO WILL TRUST IN HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR. BUT HE ALSO CAME TO GIVE US INTERNAL PEACE.
*We also desperately need this peace, so Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of God's Holy Spirit in our hearts includes "love, joy and peace." And in Philippians 4:6-7, Paul tells us to "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
*Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace! He can give us heavenly peace, peace with the Father above, forgiveness and a total pardon for our sins! But Jesus can also put peace in our hearts, and He promised to do this in John 14:27. There the Lord said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
*Jesus has promised to give His peace to His followers, and the Lord always keeps His Word! Part of God's good news is that when we are on top of the world, and when we are in the darkest valley, the Prince of Peace can give us peace that passes all understanding.
*Many of us have heard of Bethany Hamilton. She is the surfer who lost her left arm in a shark back in 2003. Bethany was 14 at the time. About a year later, she appeared on the "Today Show" to talk about the book she coauthored with her pastor. It was titled SOUL SURFER: A TRUE STORY OF FAITH, FAMILY, AND FIGHTING TO GET BACK ON THE BOARD.
*In the book's forward, Bethany wrote these words: "I hope (the book) helps people find faith in God and in their own strength and ability. I hope it motivates someone going through a tough time right now to keep on fighting until they rise above it."
*Bethany also said she doesn't want people to pity her for losing an arm at such a young age. She wants them to see an example of how to cope when life doesn't go as planned. And she said, "My strength came from my relationship with Christ, and from the love and encouragement of my family and friends."
*Bethany also wrote to those who wondered why God would allow such a tragedy to happen to a young, vibrant surfer who showed so much promise as a professional competitor. "I don't pretend to have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people," she wrote. "But I do know that God knows all those answers. Sometimes He lets you know in this life, and sometimes He asks you to wait so that you can have a face-to-face talk about it.
*What I do know is that I want to use what happened to me as an opportunity to tell people that God is worthy of our trust, and to show them that you can go on, and do wonderful things in spite of terrible events that happen." (5)
*Bethany Hamilton has the peace that only Jesus can give, the peace that He wants all of us to have today. Jesus Christ is the Prince of peace. Let Him be the Prince of your peace.
4. HE COMES TO US AS THE PRINCE OF PEACE. BUT JESUS ALSO COMES AS THE GIVER OF GOOD NEWS.
*When we trust in the Lord, He always gives us good news to share, words of witness like we see in vs.16-18:
16. His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, Then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
18. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.
*The more we know and understand about Jesus, the more good news we will have to share. God will give us great words of witness, because He is great! He will give us words of testimony like we have already heard from Power Team member Keith Davis, and one-armed surfer Bethany Hamilton.
*God gave testimonies to them, and if you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then God has given testimonies to you! Tell other people the great things that God has done for you. Then just like in vs. 18, more people will hear and meet our Savior Jesus Christ.
*By His Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ has come here today just as surely as He went into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. The King of Kings has come, and He wants to come to you. He died on the cross for you and rose again from the dead. He wants to save you from your sins. He wants to be the Lord of your life. He wants to be the Prince of your peace. So, open your heart to receive Christ, and worship the Lord today. You can do that right now as we go to God in prayer.
(1) Good Resource:
-GotQuestions.org: What is the significance of the triumphal entry?
(2) BARCLAY'S DAILY STUDY BIBLE (NT) - Copyright Statement: These files are public domain. Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission. Bibliography Information: Barclay, William - "A King's Welcome - John 12:12-19 continued"
(3) BARCLAY'S DAILY STUDY BIBLE (NT) - Copyright Statement: These files are public domain. Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission. Bibliography Information: Barclay, William - "A King's Welcome - John 12:12-19"
(4) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Worship Is More Than That" by Melvin Newland - Psalm 95:6 7
(5) KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 1708 - SOURCE: Baptist Press, http://www.baptistpress.org - TITLE: Shark Attack Victim Writes of Faith in God - AUTHOR: Erin Curry - DATE: 1062004