Palm Sunday message

A lot is going on, do we need a hero? Do we believe our hero has already come? Do we believe that we need a Savior? Look around the world, turn on the news, pick up a Newspaper or go to an internet news site. Things do not look to good to me. Looks like there are a lot of injustices going on.

Do any of you ever wonder, “Where is God?”

Today we look at a passage where the King enters Jerusalem and He is hailed as King. This next week we celebrate the victory of the cross, but sometimes we have to wonder, “Where is God?”

I do not want to let you stew on that too long. I believe that I can honestly say that God is with us in every tragedy and everything we face, yet God will come and make things right. We look at passages like today’s, we remember Palm Sunday, yet, honestly, we usually only focus on Jesus entering Jerusalem at that time. But Jesus is coming back.

Today, we are going to look at a passage in which it is prophesied that Jesus will enter Jerusalem humbly, riding on a donkey. But do not forget the second part of the passage. There is a double prophesy in this passage. Jesus is coming again.

I want us to look at Zechariah 9:9-10 where it is prophesied that Jesus will humbly enter Jerusalem. I want to look at Matthew 21:1-11 where this passage is fulfilled.

The Application:

Surrender and share.

Read with me Matthew 21:1-11:

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 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 heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Now, let’s read Zechariah 9:9-10:

 

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

 

  1. First, notice this passage prophesies that the King will come and the King has come. We see this in verse 9 and we see it’s fulfillment in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; John 21:4-9; Luke 19:29-38
    1. Let me summarize the first eight verses of this passage. It is important that we do not divorce the passage from the context.
    2. In the beginning of this chapter there are prophesies against the nations surrounding Jerusalem. Notice verse 8 says that God will protect His house. That is my summary, but the point is that God will protect Jerusalem. Zechariah was likely written around 520 B.C. to Israel, post exilic Israel. This was after they had come back from being exiled to Babylon. But they still were under Persian rule.
    3. You ask, what happened with these prophesies of judgment on the surrounding nations? I am glad you asked. Alexander the Great carried out the fulfillment of these prophesies. God used Alexander the Great to carry out the judgment. This was after the battle of Isus in 333 B.C. “He went into Syria and knocked off Syria, came over to the coastline and took Phoenicia which amounted to Tyre and Sidon…moved south and took care of Philistia, all of the cities of Philistia that are named in verse 5, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron. But amazingly enough, after destroying the nations, he saved…whom? Israel. And he spared them. And he absolutely to the tee, fulfilled the prophecy penned hundreds of years before the man was ever born, a prophecy written in a book he never saw. It was God’s way of saying, “When you see Alexander do this, know that just as that part came to pass, so will part two. And if I can use a pagan human being to judge nations and to save My people, wait and see what I’ll do with the God-Man, Jesus Christ in the end of the age.”[1]
    4. That is what is going in the first few verses in this passage. We then come to verse 9, which is the verse concerning Jesus.
    5. The passage says, “Rejoice.” The passage says to “rejoice, greatly.”
    6. Why? Your King is coming to you.
    7. Now that is something to be excited about, right?
    8. But the next verse might be a downer. Imagine, we are in a war situation and the King is coming in to save us. How do you want the King to arrive? Do you want the King to come in a tank, or a Volkswagen? I would choose the tank any day and twice on Sunday.
    9. But the passage says that the King will come Humble and riding on a donkey, really?
    10. Now, that is something to motivate the troops.
    11. Now early in Israel’s history, very early, it was respectable to ride around on a donkey. But by Solomon’s time, it wasn’t. See, Solomon brought into Israel horses. He had literally…some say 30,000 horses in his private group of horses. He introduced the horse. And from that time on, nobles and soldiers and important people rode horses and the donkey lost its dignity. You were really admitting your poverty by putting around on a donkey.
    12. But the passage acknowledges Jesus humility.
    13. Could we miss King Jesus because He came in humility?
    14. I think we certainly could.

How the “Horse Whisperer” Trains Wild Horses

Long before the “dog whisperer,” Cesar Milan, there was the “horse whisperer.”

Monty Roberts was raised in the horse business. He learned there was one way to train horses: by “breaking” them. Through domination and force, which at times included striking the horse with whips or even tying and suspending the horse’s feet and legs, a trainer would impose his will upon the animal until it reached the conclusion that total submission was the only way to survive.

In his early teen years Roberts began to study the behavior and communication patterns of wild mustangs in the badlands of Nevada. He took note of the nonverbal communication among the horses …. Drawing on this observation and his firsthand experience with horses, Roberts developed a breakthrough training technique he first called “hooking on” as opposed to “breaking down” the horse’s will. This new training method was based on a cornerstone concept he eventually trademarked called JoinUp®. Join-Up not only stopped the “breaking” norms of traditional horse training, it showcased how to cooperate with the horse’s own spirit, innate ways, and means of communicating as a member of the herd.

The personality and full potential of the horse emerge through loving freedom and desire rather than domination …. The Join-Up technique invites an untamed horse that has never been ridden to willingly accept the saddle, bridle, and rider. It is a thing of beauty to watch. Monty Roberts enters a round pen with a wild horse. In as little as half an hour, he’ll be riding the horse.

Roberts creates an atmosphere of mutual respect that communicates, “I’m not going to hurt you, and you don’t have to follow me if you don’t want to.” After a brief period of introducing himself and interacting with the horse … Roberts turns his back to the animal and walks away.

At this point the horse trains her eyes on Monty with all-out intensity and attention. She is asking herself, “Where is he going?” and “Do I want to stay by myself?” The horse must choose: “I want to be with you. I want to join up and follow you on the way.” She quickly decides, “My safe place is with you.” Dropping her head (equine language for “I submit to you”) and trotting to Roberts’s side, the horse says, “I choose to follow. I want to be with you.”

I believe at this point, Jesus wants us to choose Him. But Jesus is coming again.

  1. Second, in verse 10, this passage prophesies judgment, this is still to come.
    1. Jesus is coming as the judge. Verse 10: I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
      and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
      and the battle bow will be broken.
      He will proclaim peace to the nations.
      His rule will extend from sea to sea
      and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    2. If you turn to Revelation 14:14, it says: I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
    3. This is about Jesus coming as judge. We see this also in: Luke 21:27; Phil. 2:9-11
    4. See also 2 Peter 3:9-10: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
    5. You see verses 9-10 of Zechariah are a double prophesy. They were fulfilled in Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, but they will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again as judge and literal King.
    6. We could even look at Zechariah 9:1-10 as a triple prophesy since Alexander the Great fulfilled part of the passage.

Close:

 

Do you ever get discouraged when you turn on the news, or read the paper? It makes sense if you do. Be encouraged today that Jesus will come and make things right. Judgment will come. Justice will come. Why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting so that more people can choose to follow Him. Truth is, some of us want justice and that makes sense, but true justice would send us all to hell. Instead, Jesus came humbly on a donkey and surrendered to the cross so that we can be saved.

The application is to “surrender and share.”

So, today, surrender to Jesus. He is our rightful King. He is the only King.

Share Jesus. Judgment is coming and we need to be covered with the blood of the Lamb. Our friends, family and co-workers need to know Jesus.

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2165/the-saga-of-two-conquerers-part-2

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