Palm Sunday Celebrate Our King!

Palm Sunday

Celebrate Our King! 

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

 

Welcome! It is Palm Sunday. Also known as Passion Sunday! 

This marks the beginning of holy week with a great many events leading up to the death and resurrection of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ. 

This day was set apart and ordained by God as the proclamation of His Son as King! It was a day making known to all a new kingdom had come that was unique in every way. God had chosen His King to have all authority and power and who emulated Him in every way. His Son, Jesus is and will always be King of all kings and Lord of lords! On this day, people would profess their devotion and love for their chosen king. They would exalt His name and sing praises to Him! They would throw down cloaks in His honor for Him to walk on. They would wave palm branches as a sign of victory, salvation and celebration-for their victory was coming! Their Savior had come and the Lord had sent Jesus.

Hosanna!

This was a cry from their heart which means save us now! It is an expression of adoration and praise to the One who saves! 

As we recount this historic day in our Christian faith, let us do so looking to the people’s example of praise, joy and absolute adoration to their King. Let us as Christians, welcome our Savior and King into our heart willingly, joyfully and follow Him where He leads us. For He is Hosanna! He is our Savior! He is our King! 

 

Let’s pray.  Father God we invite You to move in our hearts and help us recount this historic day ordained by You. Help us to see the glory in our King, Your chosen One, Jesus Christ. Help our hearts be stirred to lift up praises as the people of Israel did that day and let that joy carry forth in our hearts each day forward. Let Hosanna be forever on our lips and praises to Him, forever in our hearts. Thank You for sending Your Son and granting Him all authority and power now and forevermore. Teach us Your ways Father and grant us a willing spirit to follow them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

This day begins with Jesus sending His disciples off on a mission to prepare for the celebration that was about to occur. 

In Luke 19: 29-34 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. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

This was to fulfill a prophecy spoken through Zechariah we’ll look at in a few minutes.  And so, it happened just as Jesus described it and the owners willingly gave the disciples the colt.

 

Luke 19: 35-42 NIV

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When 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!”

39 Some 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.”

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 

  • Hosanna! Jesus is King! (vs. 37-38)

In the Gospel of John, we read a bit more about the people responding as Jesus entered Jerusalem. 

John 12: 12-13 12 On the next day, when the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began shouting,

“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, indeed, the King of Israel!”  

This links back to Psalm 118: 25-26  

25 Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord. 

At this moment in time and with all the healing miracles they witnessed performed through Jesus, the great authority He had as He taught the Scriptures and the way He truly cared for the people of Israel, they could no longer contain what they knew in their hearts to be true, Jesus was King of Israel! Their long-awaited Savior had truly come to rescue them!   What a glorious moment! 

His entrance was exactly as the prophet Zechariah foretold would happen. About 500 years prior to Jesus’ arrival.                              

Zechariah 9:9 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.

Jesus of course knew of this prophecy and as the disciples brought him the colt he recounted this prophecy as a fulfillment of Scripture. He stated the prophecy for the benefit of His disciples to be encouraged in their faith, not in that moment, but in the days ahead following His death and resurrection.

John 12: 15-16 Jesus said as he sat on the colt,    15 Do not fear, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkeys colt.” 16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things for Him.  

Zechariah went on to profess this truth about the coming Savior and His kingdom:

Zechariah 9:10  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.

Jesus came with peace. Riding on a donkey was a sign of peace as He entered Jerusalem. How much more so as He rode a colt.  Peace He will bring to the ends of the earth. 

Israel’s true King was finally there, but Jesus was no ordinary king. He was not there to rule an earthly kingdom but an eternal one. He came from glory and would ascend to glory. He was bringing heaven to earth and glory to all who would believe in Him. He would make His kingdom in the hearts of every believer and it would multiply to the ends of the earth. 

God gave His disciples a revelation through Peter as to who Jesus truly was and is. Jesus asked who do others say I am? Some thought He was a great teacher, a prophet, maybe Elijah returned…but no one really knew for sure. But then Jesus looks to them and asked,           

Matthew 16: 15-16 “But who do you yourselves say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

Jesus was no earthly king. He was and is Hosanna! He is the Christ. 

  • All of Creation Worships Christ’s Deity (v.40)     

The Pharisees did not like seeing all the people shouting praises to Jesus and proclaiming He was the true king. They were indignant about such behavior and they told Jesus to rebuke His disciples. Jesus made it very clear, it wouldn’t matter if not one person professed He was king, for God had ordained this day that even stones would cry out at the splendor of the King of all creation entering Jerusalem! 

In fact, it had been written in the Scriptures that Creation testifies to God! The Pharisees would have known of these for King David himself would have been given revelation to this truth and wrote it in the psalms. 

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 66:4 All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.”

When Jesus professed this same truth, it should have resonated with the religious leaders. They should have witnessed the fulfillment of Jesus riding in on a donkey, they should have taken notice of the countless miracles and healing Jesus did and acknowledged He was in fact not only King, but the long-awaited Messiah! But they didn’t… they wouldn’t. Jesus knew the hearts of Israel were fickle. So, while He received and delighted in the praises and honor being lifted up to Him as their King, He also grieved over what He knew would be coming for Jerusalem because of their rejection under His covering.

 

  • The Triumphant King Weeps  (vs. 41-42)

 In His Humanity, Jesus wept over the coming suffering for Israel because of their rebellion against the purposes of God’s  kingdom. He loves His people and feels great sorrow when we suffer and hurt. He grieves when we push Him away. He knows He is the answer to our pain and suffering, if only we choose to receive Him.

                                         

Luke 19:40-41 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.

The Pharisees were blinded with power and pride and wouldn’t see what was right in front of them-peace, life eternal and protection under His favor and blessings. Israel was set on what they wanted in a king and when Jesus didn’t conform to their wants, they abandoned Him. Sound familiar at all?                   

Matthew 23:37 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.  

Jerusalem would reject Him in the days ahead and have Him crucified, choosing the release of a known murderer into their community and letting Jesus die in his place. Without His protection Jerusalem and its temple would be left vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, with no one to protect them.  Jesus was saying He would not be there to protect Israel for they shut Him out and turned their backs on Him. They left themselves completely exposed to the enemy. And the enemy surely came and brought ruin with him. 

Notice the nurturing example Jesus chooses to use to show His care and great protection for His children-like a hen. Like a mother. The chicks find safety from the elements and approaching enemies under the protection of their mother’s wings. They hide and feel safe. The hen will stand over them and she will giver herself first if needed before she would let one chick be harmed. This is the love and protection we have in the arms of Christ. This is what Jerusalem rejected.   

 

Let us take note of this great visual Christ has given us of His love and protection. Let us learn from Jerusalem’s fickle heart-praising Him when it suited their vision of who He should be and rejecting Him when He brought forth the divine purposes of God that were greater than their wants. 

 

Let us remember Jesus is forever King of ALL kings.

There is no leader here on earth with more power than our risen Savior Jesus. There never will be. He alone is worthy of all praise. We may not fully understand His plans for this world and in our lives, but that should never diminish the genuine praises we lift up as we acknowledge our King.

Let us remember who Jesus is and the power He holds.

Isaiah 9:6    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.                                                                     

He has theses names for a reason. He is God over all the universe, and we are not. He is our wise leader who knows all and governs according to what is just, right, true and loving. We do not always do this. We can often govern looking out for self far more than we do truly for the good of others. We are imperfect. He is perfect.  

 

If your heart has been fickle to Jesus, I want to encourage you to pray to God and repent for trying to put Jesus in your box of who He should be as your Lord and God. Repent if you have not truly acknowledged Him as Lord of your life and surrendered to His leading. Repent if you have allowed idols a higher place in your life and heart-work, hobbies, money, TV, social media, news…even people you have placed on a pedestal over God. Repentance is good and necessary in our Christian faith. It simply means a genuine desire to be forgiven and a choice to turn away from that action or thinking in our lives.  It is what brings us to a humble state before God and lets Him minister to us-cleaning us from all unrighteousness and filling us with His goodness. We can’t have this if we don’t first repent. Let’s do that right now. 

 

 ConclusionGod ordained for His Son to be honored as King. The people shouted praises to their King who came to rescue them! It was a glorious moment giving us an example of how we celebrate our King today! This moment of tremendous joy was also mixed with great sorrow as Jesus wept over fickle Jerusalem. In His humanity He yielded to both emotions. Praise God His love was greater than our sin. He pressed on to the cross as our triumphant King of kings, Prince of Peace and Savior.

 

Today on Palm Sunday, let us celebrate our KING, Jesus Christ. Let us be mindful, humbled and in awe of such a love like this that can only come from our God and Savior. The people of Israel cried out for generations for a Savior to come rescue them from their tribulations and oppression. God heard and God came down in the form of man.  Jesus came to show us God Himself and usher in a new kingdom this world has never known. This kingdom is not contained to one geographical location; it resides in the heart of every believer all over the earth! The Jews back then didn’t have any understanding of the eternal kingdom and reign Jesus was bringing forth. They wanted an earthly king to free them from Roman oppression. What they would gain would be so much more! Many would miss it or refuse His gift of salvation and eternal peace. Let that not be us. Let our hearts praise our Savior for we know who He is! Let our hearts adore our King for He is worthy of our praise and absolute devotion! Let us follow our Master, Teacher and God Almighty whose love is always greater than our fickle hearts. What kind of love is this? Only One who truly understands the human heart because He created it and He experienced it personally. Jesus Messiah. Name above all names. 

Let’s pray. 

Dear God, Thank you for sending your Son and paving the way for our lives to be set free through Jesus’ death on the cross. Thank you for what this day stands for – the beginning of Holy Week, the start of the journey towards the power of the cross, the victory of the Resurrection, and the rich truth that Jesus truly is our King of Kings. “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…” 

We give you praise and honor for your ways are righteous and true. We give you worship for you are holy and just. We will declare that your love stands firm forever. For your lovingkindness endures forever. 

Thank you that your ways are far greater than our ways, your thoughts far deeper than our thoughts. Thank you that you had a plan to redeem. Thank you for making all things new. Thank you that your face is towards the righteous, and you hear our prayers, and know our hearts. Help us to stay strong and true to you. Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to you, to hear your whispers, and seek after you alone. 

We praise you, we bless you Lord! Thank you that you reign supreme and we are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ! In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.

 

Final Blessing: Today is only a part of the story. Jesus’ triumph leads to his death, his death to his resurrection. May the journey of this week lead you into the fullness of Christ’s love. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

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