All Hail the King


The Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21:1-17 PCC am 3/21


Happy Palm Sunday. Our text today is from Matthew 21:1-17. This begins the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry This passage of scripture is rich with imagery , the fulfillment of prophecy and with the foreshadowing of things to come. So let’s dig into our text and see what we can learn from Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.


Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5

“Say to Daughter Zion,

‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants

you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[g]?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

The first thing we see is Jesus living out the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9-11

The Coming of Zion’s King

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.

10

I will take away the chariots from Ephraim

and the warhorses from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be broken.

He will proclaim peace to the nations.

His rule will extend from sea to sea

and from the River[a] to the ends of the earth.

11

As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,

I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.

Jesus was intentional about how he arrived in Jerusalem. His followers knew the scriptures and were awaiting their King. By arriving on a donkey Jesus was announcing to the world that he was the fulfillment of prophecy, that he was the promised Messiah. And his disciples gave him the red carpet treatment. Throwing their cloaks on the donkey for saddle and covering the ground so the beast carrying the KIng would not touch the ground where common men walked. Another interesting thing is the significance of the palm branches.Since the time of the Maccabees , two centuries earlier, palm branches had been a symbol of Jewish nationalism. To give this a modern perspective this is the July 4th parade flag waving and all. The jews were ready , waiting and happy to see their deliverer and King.

What is even more interesting is the shouting of the crowd

9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[a] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Hosanna[c] in the highest heaven!”

The word hosanna is a transliteration of the Hebrew hosiahna originally meaning “ please help or save”. Although the term became an exclamation of praise it retains an element of urgency for help.

The crowd is welcoming Jesus as King and at the same time pleading for his mercy and help.

This sends shockwaves through the whole city and they begin to ask who is this. The crowds answer, “ This is Jesus, the prophet from Galilee.”

Luke records for us in his gospel account that this outraged the Pharisees

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.”

The Pharisees were clearly threatened. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the Pharisees were watching their power and influence over the people slip away.

When Jesus finally gets to the temple things really get exciting.

The outer or Gentile court of the temple had been transformed into a marketplace and a bank. Jesus was more than a little upset. First he drives out everyone who was buying and selling then he overturns the tables of the money changers and drives them out proclaiming.

“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers

The religious leaders had a heart problem. They had turned worship into a highly profitable business and Jesus had to put things in order.

By driving out the money changers Jesus did two things. First he dramatized the coming destruction of the temple by overturning the tables. And this foreshadowed the coming end of the old sacrificial system which had been corrupted.

People often traveled a great distance from foriegn lands to offer sacrifices at the temple. Rather than bringing animals with them they purchased them in Jerusalem. By setting up a market in the temple the religious leaders had a lucrative business selling animals at inflated prices. And worse yet you could not purchase animals or pay your temple tax with foriegn currency . It had to be exchanged; this became another money making operation for the religious leaders. These men had a heart problem. They did not have a heart for God, they had lustful greedy hearts that desired power, prestige and the things money could buy . Quite the opposite of a humble servant King riding into town on a donkey. When Jesus drove out the merchants and money changers it was the beginning of the end for the old system. Without animals there could be no sacrifices and without money changers the highly profitable temple tax would likewise be history. For just a minute imagine a church with a for profit store selling books and church logo t-shirts , coffee cups and other items to advertise the church. Would Jesus approve? Or church with a for profit coffee shop, would Jesus deny someone a cup of coffee just because they couldn’t pay.

Imagine if you would that this morning a family of christian refugees comes here to worship with us. Are we going to reject their offering and deny them fellowship because they only have foriegn currency? I hope not.

Jesus could have simply confronted the corruption and stopped there but he didn’t . Under the old system if you were blind, if you were lame if you had any of a number of medical conditions you could not enter the temple for worship. You had to stay in the outer courts of the temple. But Jesus had a plan.

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants

you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[a]?”

17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Jesus healed the blind and the lame and the sick and they were no longer excluded from fellowship with God. And people were happy and they were excited and they were praising God because of it.

And all these things in the Mosaic age point to what is coming in the Christian age in which we live. Jesus drove out the elements of animal sacrifice from the temple and he became the perfect sacrifice. His sinless blood atones for the sins of everyone that obeys the gospel. The temple with its system of perpetual sacrifice would no longer be needed and would be destroyed in AD70 along with all the genealogy records to assure that the old would pass away. The temple veil would be torn from top to bottom and Jesus would enter into the most Holy place once for all by his own blood. And we too enter in by His blood.

But just as Jesus healed the lame and sick that were excluded from fellowship. His blood reaches far off to the Gentiles as well.

Jesus triumphal Entry into Jerusalem signaled the beginning of the end of the Mosaic age and the old system of sacrifice.

I still remember when Jesus made a triumphal entry into my life. It was 1985 and much like the religious leaders of Jesus day I had a heart problem. I had a lustful , greedy heart that was hungry for power, prestige and the things money could buy. Not only that but I was running from my past. You see I had run afoul of my old party crowd. We had parted ways because I wanted to get clean and sober. Soon after one by one they began to get arrested and assumed I was the rat. I wasn’t but Satan convinced them and I had to leave town. In a new place surrounded by new people a new chapter began to unfold. During the day I studied auto-mechanics at night I studied the Bible. Everynight I would spend hours reading the bible. The words just seemed to come alive as I read them. I read the entire New Testament in three months. I did not have a concordance or commentaries or anyone to teach me. I remember reading through the gospels and going wait a minute this also says this in another book and flipping back and forth. Until finally I read the whole new testament. Then my bible fell apart to be specific James , 1 & 2 Peter, 1,2& John , Jude and Revelation fell out of my bible so I read them again.

And then I prayed. I believed based on the evidence that Jesus was who he said he was. I believed that I was a sinner in need of a savior. I was grieved by my sin and wanted to turn and go the other way and knew that I needed the help of the Holy Spirit to live a different life. I knew that I needed to be baptized and have my sins washed away.

So I prayed

God I’m sorry for the way I have lived. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I want Jesus as my saviour. Will you please spare my life until I can be baptized.

And I closed my bible and went looking for a preacher.

What about you? Do you have a heart problem? Has Jesus made a triumphal entry into your life? If he hasn't, what are you waiting for? The invitation is open.

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