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Welcome Him as Your King

Holy Week 2021 - Welcome Him  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:34
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Jesus is moree than a teacher or miracle worker. The proper response submits to Him as King.

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Just over 2 months ago a significant event was marked on January 20, 2021. Protocols were followed, oaths were made, and a new leader was seated in the Oval office.
This inauguration was quite different from the previous one. There were fewer people on “the Mall”, the parade was scaled down, and traditional galas were not held.
I compared that in my mind to the coronation scene of Queen Elizabeth in the recent Netflix documentary The Crown. I learned that the coronation did not happen until about 18 months after she ascended to the throne. I also learned that it was groundbreaking as the first live coronation on BBC television, in an attempt to make the royal family more accessible to the general public.
The Triumphal Entry of Jesus was unlike either the Inauguration of U.S. President 46 or the 39th Coronation in Westminster Abbey.
Transition: Today we are going to step away from Luke’s Gospel for 2 weeks and look at John’s description of the event that we celebrate today. Let’s begin by looking at…

The Donkey of Jesus’ Ride (v.14)

And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

Larceny, Loan or Lordship?

In a video that you can find on YouTube, the Skit Guys (who opened our service) enact a drama between the 2 disciples that Jesus sent to get the donkey. The driving theme of that video is that, although they don’t understand why, Jesus is telling them to steal an animal.
1. Some have justified the event by understanding that Jesus didn’t keep the donkey and that it most likely was returned. But the text never specifies what happened to the beast after Jesus rode it into Jerusalem.
2. But is it possible to steal something you already own?
Revelation 4:11 ESV:2016
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
3. Colossians 1:16 clearly takes it a step further. Not only did He create it, but it was created for Him.
Colossians 1:16 ESV:2016
16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Peace, Not Conquest (Zechariah 9:1-10)

1. Shortly after the 400-year silent period between the Testaments begins, Alexander III of Macedon sweeps through the known world conquering Israel’s enemies as his Greek empire spreads. This is prophesied in Zech 9:1-8.
2. Due to the centuries of Greek and Roman rule over the land where Jesus walked, every good Jewish boy and girl would have been aware of the expected deliverance described in the next verses of Zechariah’s oracle.
3. John only quotes Zech 9:9, but the explanation of the donkey is found in v.10.
Zechariah 9:9–10 ESV:2016
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Application

If the President came to Cottonwood Falls, what transportation would you expect? I can imagine Air Force One flying to the nearest airport that could support the landing of a custom 747 jet. Then Marine One may bring him to Chase County International Airport. Finally, a caravan of secret service SUVs would surround the custom Limousine known as the Beast escorted by other politicians and patrol vehicles of various departments.
1. Most of this would be forced upon Mr. Biden by the security detail, his aids, entourage, and press corps. But I think it is the “style to which he has become accustomed.”
Back before I married Ann, she was the manager of the toy department at Wal-mart in our town. Weatherford is about the size of Emporia so I was impressed to know that she had actually met Sam Walton, then the richest man in America (and many sources claim the richest man in the world). Although he could buy any vehicle he wanted, he was famous for driving a 1979 F-150.
2. Based upon the disciples arguing about being greatest in the kingdom, I’m sure if the travel accommodations were left to them, a donkey would not have been the beast of choice.
Transition: While Matthew speaks frequently of Christ’s Kingdom, and the middle section of Luke often reminds the disciples that Jesus was headed for Jerusalem, v.16 states it isn’t until after the resurrection that the twelve connected this event with Zechariah 9 where we are introduced to the phrase…

The Daughter of Zion (v.15a)

Fear not, daughter of Zion;

Explanation

1. Besides 1 time in 2 Kings and once in Psalms, the other 24 times this phrase is used is in the OT is in the prophetic books.
2. The event of vv.12-13 is fulfillment of a prophecy revealed in vv.14-15. The donkey is symbolic of true peace that would come to the residents of Jerusalem.
3. A phrase that occurs frequently in the OT as a synonym for Jerusalem and its people, since Jerusalem was built on Mt. Zion… The people were regarded as belonging to the city as children belong to their parents.[i]
4. Jerusalem was fortified on Mt. Zion before David became king. It wasn’t until 600 years AFTER Christ that Islam was established and Arabs laid claim to this real estate.
Just as our state has many rivers and territories with festivals and names that pre-date white settlement, Zion is a name that predates the Muslim religion. This name gives credence to having our Israeli consulate in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv.
5. John’s attribution in the Christian Scriptures to this nickname for Jerusalem connects the residents of the city with the covenant descendants of Abraham. And, in my understanding of prophecy, indicates a future place of Jerusalem in Jesus’ millennial kingdom.
6. Why does Israel not experience the peace promised in Zech 9? Because only a remnant acknowledges Jesus as King over that city.
7. Many of us fail to experience Messianic peace when we fail to submit to Jesus as our King.
Transition: Without getting lost in history and prophecy, notice the next phrase in v.15

The Dominion of Jesus’ Reign (v.15b)

Behold, your king is coming

Monarch vs. Executive or Administrator

1. When John the Baptizer saw Jesus approaching in the wilderness, he exclaimed one is coming whose sandal strings I am unworthy to tie.
2. We tend to think of political leaders as our servants. Those that we put into office to serve us, rather than those whose authority demands our submission.
In our political atmosphere we tend to think “President” when we read “King”. In places like Great Britain readers understand the difference between the Prime Minister and the Monarch.
In our polity the hair on our necks stands up when we read of Executive Orders that are issued because the leader is unable to get the legislature to pass bills.
The edicts of a monarch are not subject to the approval of a senate. Subjects may revolt against an edict, but they have no say in enacting one.

Illustration

1. Nobody chooses who their monarch will be, they only choose if they will submit to royalty that is established.
2. This is difficult for those who have only known a democracy or a republic.
In our membership class material, I introduce the idea of congregationalism as a theocracy rather than a democracy. In a theocracy God is in charge, in a democracy the people are in charge. In a Biblical structure the Elders or the congregation attempt to identify and affirm God’s will in a situation. This means that sometimes I must vote in a way that is contrary to my own desire, if I truly believe that is what God wants.
This is why our selection of leadership is not a choice from 3 potential pastors where each member votes for his or her favorite. The search committee finds a candidate that they believe is God’s choice. Then the Elders affirm or reject that decision, then the congregation casts ballots for a yea/nay on that man.
3. I’m not claiming to be the perfect pastor and I am not claiming that we are the only Bible-believing church in our region! But those involved in the search process concluded that I am the one that God has chosen to be in this role at this time, so each one of you gets to decide if I am a leader that you believe God wants in your life at this time or not. And our by-laws indicate how we behave when that time comes to a close.
4. In a republic we have the power of the ballot box and impeachment to remove inadequate politicians. In a monarchy, you have the option of submission, rebellion, or exit.

Application

1. The rights of a King include authority that we cannot challenge. This week a media person claimed that God’s truth is archaic. She wants a god that she can mold into her expectation. She is now unemployed and God’s truth stands.
Natalie Grant sings:
I try to fit You in the walls inside my mind
I try to keep You safely in-between the lines
I try to put You in the box that I've designed
I try to pull You down so we are eye-to-eye
When did I forget that You've always been the King of the World?
I try to take life back, right out of the hands of the King of the World
How could I make You so small
When You're the One who holds it all?
When did I forget that You've always been the King of the World?:
Then the song concludes with:
You will always be the King of the World
Transition: While the King’s authority never wavers, a Wise King sometimes puts a velvet glove over an iron fist. The last part of v.15 shows us…

The Diminishing of Jesus’ Presence (v.15c)

Rheostat

1. Just about all of us in this room have used a rheostat, even if we didn’t know that is what it is called. The definition of rheostat is an electrical instrument used to control a current by varying the resistance.
2. Most of us are more familiar with the term dimmer. That device that turns down the brightness of a chandelier or our dashboard lights.
3. Another form is the fader that can be found on the sound console that the young men are using to keep feedback from hurting your ears.
4. A rheostat does not add power to make a light brighter or sound louder. It adds resistance to the current to make it more pleasant to our eyes or ears.
5. By using the word “diminish” I do NOT want to imply that Jesus’ presence is in any way reduced in glory or power.
6. Putting on Sunglasses does not reduce anything about the Sun, it dims our perception of the Sun.
7. By choosing a donkey, Jesus is changing our perception of the Son.

Chariot, Stallion, or Colt?

1. Verses 12-13 leave me expecting that this one who comes may ride a chariot like that of Caesar Maximus;
2. If not that ornate, surely it would befit this deliverer to ride in a Roman war chariot;
3. If a 4-horse chariot was too wide for the streets of Jerusalem, at least he could equal the Lone Ranger by mounting a steed like Trigger;
4. Yet Jesus chose to fulfill the peaceful prophecy of Zechariah 9.

An Awkward Contrast

1. The palm branches and titles used in v.13 and 15b belong to a Victor. The donkey of v.14 and 15c belong to a servant.
2. Even in the choice of an unriden donkey, Jesus demonstrates his Lordship over an unbroken animal. By doing this He models the peace that He offers to wild lives.
3. Whatever untamed hurts, habits or hang-ups you may be facing, when you submit to Jesus as King over that area of your life he has the power and authority to bring peace to your turbulence.
Conclusion:
As Jesus clothed his majesty in the humility of a donkey, there has never been, and will never again be a greater picture of deference as when our King offered Himself on the cross of Calvary. As we prepare to gather around His table, I’ve prepared a reminder of how royal He truly is.
S.M. (short for Shadrach Meshach) Lockridge was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego for 40 years. In 1970 he used these words to describe our King.
[i] Geoffrey W. Bromiley, ed., “Daughter of Zion,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988), 870.Header
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