It is the beginning of the racing season in the Midwest; the opener. Think about the excitement of a new season and the things that lie ahead. One of the fun things in racing is when the cars enter the track for the first time in a new season. It is especially cool for those coming over the top on to the track for the first time ever. There is a feeling unlike others and for the driver. There is a great surge of adrenaline as the track comes into view. Think with me for a few moments as we examine a different entry; a triumphal entry. In church terms, it is Palm Sunday, the week before Easter; a few days before Good Friday. It is part of the Passion Week of Christ.
Think with me. What do you remember about this from children’s Bible lessons or your own study?
- The streets are lined with people
- It is busy
- They are looking forward to a king
- They are looking for a warrior
- They are looking for freedom from the Romans; the government
- They are looking for powerful one
- They are looking for the anointed one
- They honored Jesus by waving palm branches
- They honored Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna, Hosanna”
- They put their cloaks on the road for Him
- It is Passover so people were looking forward to seeing family
- Others were just thinking about the special meal
- Some were looking for a miracle
- And He has the nerve to ride in on a humble donkey, what is this?
Let’s read the some excerpts on the subject, highlighted are some of the echoes:
Luke 19:36-41: As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.
John 12:15: “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Mark 11:11: Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Matthew 21:6-11: The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
I only want to hit on a couple of points and then drive one deeper. Notice the truth that you may have heard long ago still echoing true today. Notice Jesus pouring out His love and tears over the city. Notice Jesus again in the temple. It is a great study to look at the different times Jesus was in the temple and the meaning of each. Notice the crowd saying, “Hosanna” which means “He saves” or “save, we pray”.
Now the point I want to think deeply about. They say, “Who is this?” The question does not distress me, it is the answer, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Do you catch it? They are not saying this is the Savior; this is the Lord; this is God coming to pay for my sin. They say that he is a prophet. Do you understand the impact of the difference? There are many who would agree that Jesus is and was a prophet but few that would say He is Lord, and even fewer that He is Deity; God. It really does change everything about Jesus, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter. What’s more is that it can change our lives for eternity so please do take some time and examine this closely.
See you at a track soon and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,