Introduction: Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on what we refer to as Palm Sunday is actually better described and understood as Jesus’ triumphal entry (into Jerusalem).
On that day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a borrowed donkey’s colt, one that had never been ridden before. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on, and the multitudes came out to welcome Him, laying before Him their cloaks and the branches of palm trees. The people hailed and praised Him as the “King who comes in the name of the Lord” as He rode to the temple, where He taught the people, healed them, and drove out the money-changers and merchants who had made His Father’s house a “den of robbers” (Mark 11:17).
Jesus’ purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim to be their Messiah and King of Israel in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Matthew says that the King coming on the foal of a donkey was an exact fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus rides into His capital city as a conquering King and is hailed by the people as such, in the manner of the day. The streets of Jerusalem, the royal city, are open to Him, and like a king He ascends to His palace, not a temporal palace but the spiritual palace that is the temple, because His is a spiritual kingdom.
- He receives the worship and praise of the people because only He deserves it.
- No longer does He tell His disciples to be quiet about Him (Matthew 12:16, 16:20) but to shout His praises and worship Him openly.
- The spreading of cloaks was an act of homage for royalty (see 2 Kings 9:13).
- Jesus was openly declaring to the people that He was their King and the Messiah they had been waiting for.
Transition: Very much like real life, the story of the triumphal entry is one of contrasts, and those contrasts contain applications to believers.
- It is the story of the King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not a prancing steed,
- not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble.
- Jesus Christ comes not to conquer by force as earthly kings but by love, grace, mercy, and His own sacrifice for His people.
- His is not a kingdom of armies and splendor but of lowliness and servanthood.
- He conquers not nations but hearts and minds.
- His message is one of peace with God, not of temporal peace.
If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we exhibit those same qualities, and the world sees the true King living and reigning in triumph in us.
Transition: As was Jesus’ case, life is full of a lot of up and down, good and bad moments, of contrasts… even though the victory is guaranteed.
Before Jesus cried, ‘It is finished,’ and then His glorious resurrection, a few things happened.
Before ultimate victory Jesus faced:
In the process of feeding the multitudes, healing demoniacs, restoring life to the dead, and delivering people from demonic oppression and ultimately liberating humanity from our sin stricken nature and consequence, Jesus had to go through it!
For my message today, I want to remind us of some of the things Jesus had to endure before completing His mission.
He had to battle:
- Pre-existing Governing Powers Pre-Birth
Matthew 2 – Wise Men from the East
Matthew 3 – Massacre of Innocents
Place and Rise of Herod(s):
Herod the Great
Herod the Great (73 B.C. to 4 B.C.) was not a Jew- his father an Idumean and his mother Arabian. The Roman senate had made him king of Judea in 40 B.C. Although Herod was a great builder (including the enlargement of the temple) and had been occasionally generous to the Jewish people he eventually lost favor with them. His mixed lineage with his Edomite blood would have made him unacceptable to the people. The Old Testament said of Edom.
Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the wicked land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD (Malachi 1:4).
WOW: Herod became increasing cruel toward the end of his reign. Thinking that his own family was about to overthrow him he murdered one of his wives (Mariamne), her mother, two of her sons, and his own eldest son. This led the Roman Emperor Augustus to comment that it would be safer to be Herod’s pig (hus in Greek) than his son (huios).
Herod Archelaus – (Aar-chuh-LAI-us)
When Herod the Great died Archelaus, his eldest son, was placed over Judea, Samaria, and Idumea. He did not rule over the Galilee.
Joseph; when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee (Matthew 2:22).
The fear of Archelaus was justified. However, Augustus withheld the confirmation of his kingship until Archelaus proved himself. The confirmation never occurred because Archelaus began his reign by slaughtering 3,000 prominent citizens.
The Emperor removed him two years later. The Emperor then took away of the rule of Judea from the Herod family.
Herod Antipas (aa dee pas)Herod Antipas ruled Galilee when Jesus began His public ministry.
Tiberius Caesar is head of Roman Empire
Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea
Herod Antipas is refered to as a tetrarch because he rulled a fourth part of Judea. He ruled over Galilee and Perea.
Herod Killed John The Baptist
Herod had John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, put to death. (Mark 6:27)
Herod Thought Jesus Was John Risen From The Dead
The superstitious Herod thought Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. (Matthew 14:1,2)
Herod wanted to kill Jesus like he did John the Baptist.
Jesus called Herod, “that fox.” (Luke 13:31,32)
Jesus Was Brought Before Herod To Be Tried (Luke 23:6-12)
Jesus was brought before Herod when He was tried.
Herod was disappointed that Jesus did not perform any miracle or answer any of his questions.
Application: By application may I state that there will always be a pre-existing evil empire always looking to destroy and challenge the person, role and deity of Jesus! Always!
Transition: Jesus survived the pre-existing evil gunning for his demise, but it didn’t stop there.Jesus had to then battle
II. Battle with Demonic / Darkness / Devil – Matthew – 3:13-4:11
Matthew 3:13-4:11 – The moment Jesus is baptized, Satan comes to interfere/temp/create temptation.
Application: The same will be true for us. The moment we surrender our lives to Jesus, ‘all hell will break loose.’
- Serve me and I will take care of you!
- Take chances…it’s ok, God is with you!
- Worship me…I will give you the kingdoms your searching for.
Transition: The third battle Jesus faced was rejection!
III. Rejection by his own – Matthew 6
a. Religious / Established Community –Jews – Matthew 6:41-59
b. Own Disciples – 6:60-71
60-61, It was hard, so they complained!
Application: Can anything good really come from ‘that person?’ and ‘It’s too hard, it’s too much,’ ‘I can’t or don’t want to do it that way.’
- Rich Young Ruler
Transition: 4thly, Jesus had to battle suffering, difficulty, pain and even momentary separation.
IV. Suffering / Difficulty / Pain /
Application: Jesus suffered; mentally, emotionally physically, and spiritually.
‘My God my God, why have you forsaken me.’
Conclusion: Yes, today is a day of celebration and triumph! We know Jesus ultimately wins and so will we but let us remember that there is a journey in-between formation and conclusion!
Hang in there! Victory is secure and victory is ours through Jesus!