Palm Sunday 17th April 2011 – The Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21 verses 1-11

1.  Now when they drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,

2. Saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.  Loose them and bring them to Me.

3. “And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

4. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

5. “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

6. So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.

7. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.

8. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

9. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10. And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11. So the multitudes said “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

 

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter Sunday, and it marks the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before He was crucified. A Triumph in Classical times was when a victorious general returned from a war or from invading a new land.  They would parade themselves with great pomp and procession, showing off the spoils and the defeated foe that they had won in battle.

This is a little like this, except that it is so different.  Jesus did not ride a magnificent chariot, rather He rode a relatively humble donkey.  He did not display gold and treasures and great riches won from the vanquished.  He did not have a huge state orchestra or even trumpets heralding his victory.  Rather, He was celebrated by human voices.

These things show that the kingdom of Jesus was so different to other kingdoms.  Even though He is the King of Heaven, and in Heaven arrayed in majestic, regal splendour (as we saw in last week’s Bible analysis), He stripped Himself of all that splendour, so that even where He was hailed as a King on earth, this was done in incredible simplicity and humility.

And yet, today much of humanity would agree that Jesus is the greatest King who ever lived, or at least the most influential person. His kingdom is still powerful and is now a worldwide empire, 2000 years after He was born.   I invite you to worship Him today, this Man who was  as humble as a servant while on earth and is worshipped as a glorious King today.

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