God’s True King – Jesus Christ
Well, the crowning of a minister is a very big thing in our world today. During an election, a candidate is selected and wins the mandate to rule the nation and is consequently celebrated in a grand manner. Today, I am going to speak on the earthly coronation of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary, no such celebrations can be seen carried out in the earthly coronation of Jesus. In brief, there were no formalities, no garlands, no dignitaries, no designer clothes and no musicians. His coronation was indeed a humble coronation. It was very much like His birth. Evidently, His birth is attended by shepherds who in social terms are the lowest people on the social ladder. His coronation was riding on a donkey. Jesus’ coronation was with the lowly people and people rejected by the religious nobility.
But in spite of its simplicity, He was nonetheless God’s true King.
God’s One True King
I am going to speak on the Triumphal entry of our Lord Jesus Christ and draw some lessons for us today.
Open your Bible to John 19. Jesus will have two coronations, this one and one in the future. He will be back and that coronation will be a glorious one.
The first one is described in John 19. We have now come to the end of His earthly life and are entering the week of His crucifixion and resurrection.
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34They replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37When 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: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Remember John presents Jesus taking a journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. The journey starts in John 9:51 but He reaches Jerusalem only in this passage, John 19:44. However, Jesus comes very close to Bethlehem to a village called Bethany a couple of times. The last time Jesus was there, he raised Lazarus from the dead. Then Jesus goes back to Galilee and comes through Jericho towards Jerusalem. In Jericho, He stops for two days and heals two blind beggars. They become His disciples and now they are part of the group. They are looking at everything for the first time, enjoying their transformed vision and their transformed souls.
He also miraculously brought salvation to the life of a chief tax collector named Zacchaeus. He was the most hated man in Jericho because he collected taxes from Jews to give to Romans who were the occupying army. Now, Jesus again enters Bethany and Simon the leper hosted a meal in honor of Jesus where he was anointed by a sinful women. Remember, a few weeks before Jesus raised from the dead and now a big crowd is coming to see Jesus. This is the Saturday before his crucifixion.
The week would then go like this.
On Saturday, He is anointed.
On Sunday, there’s a great crowd comes to Bethany to see Jesus.
Monday is the triumphal entry. He comes into the city. He goes to the temple. At night He returns to Bethany.
On Tuesday, comes from Bethany back into Jerusalem, curses a fig tree, cleanses the temple. The religious leaders get more angry with Him than they’ve been and they’ve been very angry, wanting to destroy Him. At the end of that Tuesday, He goes back to Bethany and stays.
On Wednesday He comes back into Jerusalem and He has another day-long controversy with the religious leaders. He gives the great Olivet discourse, the sermon of His Second Coming recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Judas plans the betrayal, that’s Wednesday.
Thursday, meets with His disciples, eats the Passover meal in the upper room, gives the great final discourse to the disciples. Goes into the Garden of Gethsemane, prays to the Father.
On Friday He’s arrested, tried, crucified.
Saturday He’s in the grave.
Sunday He rises from the dead.
That’s the time table that is in Jesus’ mind.
So there is a fixed divine timetable for Jesus. There is a lot of crowd around him. Moreover, it is Passover time. There were a lot of people in Jerusalem at this time. Evidently, historians estimated up to 20 Lakhs of people. Moreover, as Jesus gets to the great city of Jerusalem, He comes in the midst of this mass of expectant humanity, who are hopeful that He will display messianic power and bring the glory of the kingdom promised to Israel in the Old Testament.
In fact, the truth is He’s headed to the cross and He has told His disciples that. Furthermore He proceeds on His way up the mountain to Jerusalem to face the unbelievable horrors of death on a cross as God’s chosen sacrifice for sin and He is going to pay the ransom for the sins of mankind. Indeed, the sinless Son of God going to take on the wrath of God for sinners to open the way for forgiveness. He comes to die. Then to rise from the grave and go back to God the Father. He is going to come soon to reign. But people are hailing Jesus as a king here.
However, up to this point in His life, He never allowed this kind of open public display. In fact, if it ever even began, He stopped it and this is the only time did He allow it.
Why? Because this is God’s time. Now is the time for Him to die. He will die on Friday because Friday is the Passover when all Passover lambs were slain. Undoubtedly, He is the one true sacrifice for sin pictured in all other offerings. This is the time when God wanted to sacrifice his son. Jerusalem was the place because that was where the temple was. Evidently, it was in Jerusalem that the lambs were slaughtered in the altar. So Jerusalem is the place and the time is now.
Surely, Jesus knows exactly what He’s doing and He is well aware He is approaching His betrayal, to be tried and sentenced to crucifixion. Clearly, all those thoughts are in His mind as He comes. However, the people are thinking, “This could be the moment He brings the kingdom. A time that He conquers the Romans. This could be the moment that He fulfills the promises to Abraham and David. But the King has come to die.
And the people, all they can think about is He’s going to come and bring us glory. But there couldn’t be any glory until there was a cross.
Coming to this particular day of the triumphal entry there are three things.
Preparation, Adoration & Condemnation.
28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them…
Now right near the city of Jerusalem, there’s the town of Bethany, a little village to the east. It is the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus, kind of Jesus’ base in the area. Bethphage is a the little village nearby. And the mount is the Mount of Olives.
So in Bethphage Jesus sent two of his disciples:
30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them.
Omniscience Of Christ
How does Jesus know that a colt is there? You know, this shows the supernatural knowledge of Christ. Jesus wasn’t there. This is just one of those simple illustrations of omniscience of Jesus Christ. Matthew says, “You will not only find a colt, but you’ll find a donkey with a colt. “And it will be a colt on which no one has ever sat.” More details known only to the Lord.
Look at the knowledge of Jesus. In John 1, Jesus met a man named Nathanael for the first time. Nathanael walks up to Him, never has met Jesus, and Jesus says to Nathanael:
47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Yes, He has supernatural knowledge because He is God. At the end of chapter 2 of John says:
He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
Jesus Christ could read the heart. Not only could He see people with His omniscience that He couldn’t see with His physical eyes but He could see the heart of everyone.
The disciples went, saw the colt and was untying it.
33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
This could look a lot like robbery. But the moment they said, “The Lord needs it.” It was the end of the conversation, nothing else is recorded, that was all they needed to hear. I’m sure they were looking at each other and saying, “Can you believe it? The Lord is going to use our colt.” They had heard about the Lord. And now they are happy to release their colt.
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
They threw their garments on the colt, kind of a makeshift saddle on a little foal that’s never been ridden.
By the way, Solomon rode a mule in his coronation, 1 Kings 1:32-40. David on occasion rode a mule. But our Lord was not just trying to identify with Davidic tradition, even though He is a son of David.
Fulfillment Of Prophesy
What’s going on here? It is the fulfillment of prophesy from Zechariah.
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.
500 years earlier the prophet Zechariah said He would come riding a donkey’s colt. This is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah; that Jesus would come riding on the foal of a donkey. Five hundred years then before the people of Jerusalem would hail Him as a King, it was declared by the prophet that He would ride a donkey’s colt.
The Old Testament then declared that He wouldn’t come as a conquering hero riding on a white horse. That’s the picture in Revelation when He comes the next time. But that He would come not in earthly splendor to reign in earthly power, but the first time He would come in humility to save and to die and give His life a ransom for sinners.
So here we see His omniscience as God. Here we see His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy validating His claim to be the Messiah.
Look at the worship Jesus received.
36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37When 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: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
As He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. This is an old custom, ancient custom.
2 Kings 9:13
They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
It symbolized that you were submitting. It was a way to represent your own submission. They were in effect saying we place ourselves under Your feet. That’s why thrones are elevated. In the ancient times we talked about a king, you were under his feet, symbolic of submission to his majesty and authority. So they were saying that: “We place ourselves under Your feet, symbolically throwing our robes there.”
And this thing is beginning to escalate now.
Worship Of Jesus As King Come From God
37When 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: 38“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
The city comes into view and what happens. They all had stories about the miracles they had seen. Surely Lazarus was in the crowd along with Mary and Martha. And what do they say in their worship? “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” They worship Him as the one who comes with the full authority of God.
I know it’s temporary because the same crowd is going to be screaming, “Crucify Him, crucify Him,” in a few days. However, at that moment, they’re just swept away.
The next phrase “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” comes directly from Psalms 118. This psalm is always read and recited at Passover. This passage is known as the “salvation psalm” or “coronation Psalm.” A hundred years before this Maccabeus had defeated the Syrians and the Jews had hailed him with this same 118th Psalm.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.
There Was Celebration
They worshipped God. And then the group in back would have shouted out this phrase: “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
John says they took palm branches.
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
This was a celebration. They were throwing their cloaks down, cutting branches and throwing branches at His feet, which are all symbols of joy.
Matthew says part of the crowd was behind Jesus, part of the crowd was in front of Him. Why? Because there was a crowd coming from Jerusalem another going into Jerusalem with Jesus.
They Realized Peace Came To Earth From Heaven
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” What a praise. They finally understood that peace is not in Jerusalem. Peace is in heaven and the Messiah brings peace on earth.
Matthew adds that they said, “Hosanna to the son of David.” That’s the most common reference to Messiah, son of David. They knew Jesus is the Messiah now. Hosanna means, “Save now, save now, save now.”
They worshipped Jesus. Do you worship Jesus at the savior of the world? The one who brings peace on earth?
They knew the Messiah brings peace on earth, that the Messiah is the son of David, also they knew the Messiah saves but they weren’t talking about spiritual salvation from sin. They were telling, “Save the nation, save the nation, save us from the oppressive Romans, save us from our desperate condition in this world. Save us, bring the fulfillment of the promises.”
The Pharisees are outraged with all the worship taking place around them. This is blasphemy to them, to worship any but God, to connect Jesus with heaven and with God.
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
Jesus’ answer is just stunning.
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
And that sets up the final section in which He reveals His deity and His authority as King and that’s condemnation. Do you know what that means, “The stones will cry out?”
As we close this morning, what is your response to Jesus Christ? The triumphal entry is history, we do not have to enact the triumphal entry using any symbols. But the message of the Triumphal entry can be relevant to us. How is your worship? How is your preparation to worship Jesus Christ? Romans says to offer our bodies as an act of worship. Are you worshiping Jesus in holiness? Ask God to cleanse you today. Do you worship God has the one who saves you? Do you worship knowing that it is only God who can save you? Let’s surrender and worship the Lord today.
Throughout His preparation He is revealed as God’s glorious Son and King.
Amidst His adoration He is revealed as the divine one, worthy of worship and praise.
Through condemnation He is revealed as the one who has the right to judge.
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