On Friday, Jesus arrived in Bethany. There he would spend two nights before going to Jerusalem on Sunday for Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover.
On Saturday, Jesus kept the Sabbath with his friends. That evening, when the holy day was ended, he enjoyed a great meal at Simon’s house. It was on that evening that Jesus was sweetly anointed by Mary.
Then came Sunday. Throughout history, it became known as Palm Sunday. Do you know what happened on that special day?
Luke 19:28-40 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
On Palm Sunday, Jesus displayed his power.
Within the city of Jerusalem, Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees had all joined together with a desire to rid themselves of Jesus. Even the High Priest was a part of that anti-Christ coalition. These powerful players plotted against the Son of god. A price was put on his head, and they began looking for someone to betray him.
However, despite the danger, boldly Jesus traveled into the City of David. His power would be displayed in his entering the den of his enemies.
And his power would be displayed in the manner in which he entered the headquarters of his foes. Jesus determined not to sneak into the city. Instead, he reversed his normal practice of selective publicity and entered boldly, loudly, and with style.
Powerfully, he requisitioned a donkey. In doing so, he showed for his divine right as the sovereign monarch.
Powerfully, he fulfilled two more ancient prophecies. (Gen. 49; Zech. 9)
Powerfully, he accepted the royal treatment given him by his disciples and friends. He allowed and even encourage them to remove their coats, make a saddle, lift him up on the animal, and pave the way into the city with their garments.
Powerfully, he allowed himself to be surrounded by a “whole multitude.”
Powerfully, he accepted the praise and worship of his huge and growing congregation. He was not troubled in the slightest as they waived their palm branches, sang forth the Hallel Psalms and the angels’ song regarding the Messiah. Jesus enjoyed being heralded as Israel’s prophet, priest, and king. He was proud to be known as the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Yes, on that day, Jesus initiated his own parade, and in doing so he made a bold and brash statement. Jesus was the promised and powerful Messiah, and he was marching into his capital city.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus displayed his peace.
Jesus could have entered Jerusalem as the dominant Man of War.
He could have come with his angels.
He could have come riding in a chariot of fire.
He could entered riding majestically as the Son of Man on his warhorse of white.
However, he intentionally chose not to do so. Instead, Jesus entered on a donkey. He did so to fulfill ancient prophecy. He also did so to make a statement. On that day, he was coming not to judge, condemn, and execute justice. No, on that day, he was coming as the king of peace. More than that, he was coming as the means of peace. Yes, he rode into town on a humble donkey to be the sacrificial lamb. (Isaiah 52:10–53:12) He arrived to do what was necessary to reconcile unholy enemies with a holy God.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus displayed his patience.
Jesus showed patience with his marching, waiving, and singing friends. Why would I say such? It is because not even Jesus’ worshiping friends understood his purpose. In their eyes, Jesus came into Jerusalem:
- To be crowned as king.
- To execute vengeance and justice upon his enemies.
- To be rid of Roman domination
- To solve Israel’s earthly problems.
- To “Make Israel Great Again.”
But they were foolish. Jesus came not to deliver them from Pilate, Herod, and Caesar, but to save them from the world, the flesh, and the devil. And Jesus came not into Jerusalem to “lay down the lumber,” but to be laid upon the old rugged cross. And Jesus knew that in a few days, when the people realized he was not there to “Make Israel Great Again,” their voices of praise and adulation would be replaced by those screaming, “Give us Barrabas, and Crucify Him.” And these were Jesus’ friends. However, Jesus Christ showed mercy, grace, and long-suffering patience to them. He did so because he know that many of them would be found worshiping around the throne with him in a short time.
Then there were Jesus’ enemies. He knew they could not stomach his promotional parade, because they could not stand him. However, towards even these devilish individuals he showed undeserved patience. Why? For the same reason mentioned above. Jesus came to save sinners, and one day many of these anti-Christs would be worshiping around the throne in paradise. Many of these Herodians, Pharisees, Sadducees priests, elders, and scribes would be identified with him in his substitutionary life and death.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus declared his predetermined end.
The enemies of Jesus could do nothing to halt his worship service. The only thing they could do was to approach the Messiah and ask him to rain on his own parade. Arrogantly and foolishly, they asked Jesus to rebuke his own disciples. However, they found Jesus was not inclined to do so. Instead, they found Jesus defending those giving him honor and glory.
What else did they hear? They heard the impossibility of stopping Jesus’ exaltation, for even if men were silent, the rocks would take up the song. All creation, inanimate and animate, willingly or unwillingly, had been designed to given honor and glory to the Son. He was sent to earth to be exalted. He was begotten beat he might be praised. Some would praise him by showing forth his mercy and grace. Others would praise him by showing forth his justice and wrath, but in the end all men would contribute to the praise and worship of the Son of God. This was his predetermined end.
Listen to Paul as he states this truth in his letter to the Philippians:
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
Therefore, friends, how will you have it? Willingly or unwillingly you will worship. You will either worship him as the Loving Father or the Angry Judge. I encourage you to give your self-worship and call him him now as Savior and Lord. Then, I encourage you to join the Jesus Parade. How fantastic it is to worship him with thoughts, affections, words, and deeds. How fantastic it is to gather with his friends each Lord’s Day and be instructed from his Word. And what a great day it will be when we are found bowing, kneeling, standing, and dancing about his throne in glory. This is happening. This is Christ’s predetermined end. What a day of rejoicing it will be for those who kiss the ring of King Jesus. How tragic it will be for those who must have their knees buckled before they bow before His Majesty!