Messages from the Gospel of Luke
Message Twelve - Palm Sunday, 2019
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
A message from Luke 19: 28-40, by Pastor Sam Dennis
Today we turn to chapter 19 of Luke’s gospel, where we find the Good Doctor Luke’s record of an event all Christendom has come to call – Palm Sunday. This day of expectation and high celebration introduces us to the final week of Christ’s ministry on the earth. The week that led to His death on the cross, and -ultimately - to the victory over death by His resurrection.
But more that all this, in this event – this spectacular precursor to what is yet to come – we have an opportunity to begin our own Passion Week thought and refection. An opportunity which will have particular meaning for anywho choose to follow Christ.
So, this being said, please stand with me as we turn to Luke 19, and hear our reading from God’s Word at verse 28.
28 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.’”
32 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!”
He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Now, as we begin, we should note that…
1. Palm Sunday was a day not come by accident
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell a fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Luke 9: 51-56
a. Then Jesus said…
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.’”
b. Knowing that, before Him came the anointing of Solomon
32King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.”
1 Kings 1: 32-35
c. The Triumphal Entry of the Coming Messiah foretold
In Zechariah there is a prophecy, which speaks of the coming Messiah, the future king, who will recapitulate the actions of Solomon:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)
Most readers stop here, noting the obvious parallels between this messianic oracle and the actions of Jesus. But if you keep reading you will find what the Messiah does after he rides into Jerusalem on an ass.
d. And in front of Him lay what the Messiah must do
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your captives free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope... (Zechariah 9:10-11)
This is a stunning oracle. In it, the future king not only rides into Jerusalem on an ass in humility, but establishes
(1)A universal kingdom('to the ends of the earth'), which is characterized by peace, not war (the chariot is 'cut off)., and
(2) By means of a blood covenant, God sets Israel's "captives" free from "the waterless Pit" and brings them hold to Jerusalem (the 'stronghold'). This last line is particularly strange; since what is clearly in view is deliverance from Exile in Sheol, the realm of the dead, which is frequently referred to in the Old Testament as "the Pit." Zechariah clearly seems to expect the messianic return from exile to include those who had descended into Sheol, who would somehow be released through the "blood of [the] covenant."
Once this Old Testament background is in place, Jesus' Triumphal Entry takes on a deeper significance. First, he is deliberately recapitulating Solomon's royal entry into Jerusalem when he was enthroned as king. Second, he is performing a prophetic sign of thefulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.
In other words, Jesus is both a New Solomon and the long-awaited Messiah.
2. Palm Sunday was a dayof misguided expectation
… 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!”(Lk. 19: 35-38
a. Expectation of victory
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
b. Expectation of King after their hope
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord
c. Expectation of God’s Favor and Plan
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest
3. Palm Sunday was a precursor of what is yet to come
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” (Vv. 39-40)
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2: 9-11
In Revelation, Palm Sunday in the age to come is described as this:
I looked and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9, 10)
The entry into Jerusalem with waving palms (John 12:13) was a short-lived preview of the eternal Palm Sunday to come. It needed to be said. If the disciples hadn't said it, the rocks would have. (John Piper)