A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers
to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch
while I prove it to you.”
The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in
the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you
want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves.
“What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never
Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young
boy coming out of the ice cream parlor.
“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the
quarters instead of the dollar bill?”
The boy licked his cone and replied:
“Because the day I take the dollar the game is over!”
Last week we discussed Mary’s loving act of kindness and
worship as she broke an expensive jar of perfume and wiped
Jesus’ feet with her tears and her hair. According to the gospel of John this took place the day before Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Today is Palm Sunday. We are going to spend most of our time this morning looking at Luke’s account of this first Palm Sunday.
The text is found in Luke 19:28-44. Follow along as I read.
Let’s take a minute to talk about Jerusalem.
Jerusalem means City of Peace. Keep that in mind as we study
the events of Palm Sunday. The theme of peace will come up
again I promise.
Luke tells that Jesus was going up to Jerusalem.
I read that it doesn’t matter which direction you are headed from, if you are going to Jerusalem, you are headed up.
If you are leaving Jerusalem, you are headed down.
Jesus Prepares for His Entry
Also, Luke mentions Bethany and Bethpage. It was near the
Mount of Olives. This was the highest point in the area and had a fantastic view of Jerusalem. We know Jesus was there because in John we read that Bethany is where Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived. This is the place where Jesus made preparations for His entry into the city.
Gives Disciples Instructions to get a Colt
He asked two disciples to go and find a colt that has never been ridden on. They found it just as Jesus said it would be. We are going to see the importance of the colt in just a few moments.
The disciples went right away and did what Jesus requested.
Gives Disciples Passphrase
Imagine being the two disciples who are tasked with basically
stealing a donkey that doesn’t belong to them.
Jesus says, if anyone questions you when you untie the donkey, tell them ‘the Lord has need of it.
I’m pretty sure they must have been a little nervous about this
But they did exactly as Jesus told them and the owners accepted this explanation!
So how exactly did Jesus make these preparations?
Did He go before the disciples into the town and speak with the owners and agree on the passphrase so there would be no trouble? Or did He just supernaturally help the owner understand that the disciples needed it for a higher purpose?
It doesn’t really matter which one you believe, the fact is that it happened just as Jesus said it would and we can always take
Jesus at His word. His word is truth!
People Worship Jesus
We see two ways people worshiped Jesus in the story of this first.
Shouting Praise with their Voices
As Jesus was entering the city, people praised Him with their
voices. Matthew, Mark and John all write that the people praised Him by shouting Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Luke records it this way, ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest’ It’s likely that Luke omits the word Hosanna because his Gentile readers would better understand glory rather than Hosanna.
The point is that Jesus was the one who had been promised since the days of the OT. He is worthy of worship and the people give Him the praise that He alone is worthy of.
Casting Cloaks and Branches on the Ground Before Him
The people who came to see Jesus took off their garments and
cast them on the ground. Others took branches and placed them on the road where Jesus would pass by. Many had gone into the field and cut off nice branches with green leaves to lay down for Him. This was a display of respect and awe for Jesus.
It was customary for the people to place their garments on the ground when a king came in their presence. I Kings 9:13 tell us of when this happened when king Jehu was king over Israel.
The OT declared that the king would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9 reads “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your
king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of
Jesus Came in Humility
Donkeys are beasts of burden. They aren’t the typical animal that a king would enter a city to become king.
When a military leader wanted to introduce himself, he would
typically come in on a white horse armed for battle.
Everyone was expecting Jesus to rescue them and rule over them as a king. He is the king, but in a very different way than they expected. If you look back at Isaiah 53 you read about Jesus as the suffering servant. He came to bear the iniquity of us all.
He was wounded for our transgressions, by His wounds we are healed.
He didn’t come to be served, but to serve others and give His life a ransom for many.
Jesus Came to Bring Salvation
Zechariah says He is Just and endowed with salvation
The word just can also be translated as vindicated and victorious.
Think about that for a second. Jesus has already won the war.
We just haven’t experienced it yet. He is coming back to rule for 1000 years and to create a new heaven and new earth.
Jesus is about to go to the cross to usher in the once and final
sacrifice that would take away the sin of all who believe.
The difference between Jesus and a typical king is that a typical king kills others to conquer them.
Jesus brought salvation by offering His own life to take the place of ours.
Jesus Came to Bring Peace
Isaiah prophecies that Jesus will be called prince of peace.
The angels in Luke 2 proclaim “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”
Jesus didn’t come to make peace in the way a typical king would make peace. He didn’t come to force people to obey Him.
He came to make peace through His death and resurrection!
As He came into Jerusalem He came to bring all who would
believe in Him into peace with God.
I selected the text from Luke because he includes some details that aren’t in the other stories. There is one verse that greatly
impacted me this week. It’s v.41. When He approached
Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it.”
Jesus loved the people of that city. He loved them so much He
wept over them. Jesus knew that many people would reject Him and for that reason He wept for the city.
Pray for Unbelievers
As believers we can see the world around us rejecting God.
It should break our hearts as it did as Christ approached the city.
The world is perishing and God’s desire is for the gospel to
spread through the world through His children. Let’s join together to pray for the lost!!
Share the Good News
That’s an urgent call for you and I to go and tell others about
Christ and the good news that there is forgiveness of sin
available. There is hope and light in the world.
What can you do where you are to share the light of the world
with those you know? Due to social distancing we can’t go out in 2’s like Jesus sent His disciples. But we can still reach people by phone, text or email.
How are you sharing the good news!!
The Bible tells us to worship in spirit and in truth.
I want to encourage you to remove every distraction as you
worship. It’s more difficult to stay engaged through digital
channels. Let’s do all we can to worship together.