Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11
“We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” – – Madeleine L’Engle
I hope to point out today that Jesus is the light that is so lovely that all of the people around us will want to follow Jesus. For Jesus is more than we expect him to be, even more than we have thought of him to be! By the whole city of Jerusalem asking the question, “Who is this?” when Jesus entered the city, we discover how lovely he is.
We can contend that Jesus is king, savior, a prophet and priest. We can even realize that we need Jesus to be our king, our savior, our prophet, and yes, even our priest. For there is only one person in all of human history who has fulfilled all of these roles, and Jesus is he.
A. How does Jesus become a king?
1. When Jesus told the two disciples to fetch the donkey and its colt, he was fulfilling prophecy (Zechariah 9:9)
2. Jesus is a humble king – no bragging does he do!
3. Even amidst the Passover celebration, Jesus is celebrated as a king
4. Jesus doesn’t come storming into town unannounced. Jesus is working so that we know him in our lives. He doesn’t break into our lives unannounced. Jesus has been talked about for millennia. Plus, Jesus is working to get your attention even today. He wants to be my king. He wants to be your king. Jesus even began his ministry by saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17) He was announcing himself to the world. If we haven’t known Jesus as king, then maybe we can discover he is a savior.
B. How do we know Jesus is the savior?
1. “Hosanna!” = “Save me/us, I/we beseech you!”
2. Jesus is a Son of David
a. David was a shepherd
b. David delivered his people
c. Jesus will deliver his people (all who believe in him)
3. Jesus comes in the name of the Lord
4. Jesus came from the highest heaven
5. The crowds recognized something was going on
6. Jesus doesn’t force us to believe in himself. Jesus fulfills prophecy about God coming to earth to save us. If we choose to believe in Jesus, then we recognize Jesus as our savior. However, Jesus is a savior, whether we believe or not. The information is there. There is also information about Jesus being a prophet.
C. How is Jesus a prophet?
1. When the city was in turmoil about Jesus entering Jerusalem, the crowd was not in turmoil
2. The crowd at least acknowledged Jesus as a prophet
3. A prophet is someone who fore-tells what will happen if we fail to turn to God
4. A prophet is also someone who shows the power of God in this world
a. Jesus gave sight to the blind
b. Jesus taught about God’s expectations for married people
c. Jesus cured the sick
5. Jesus fulfills the job of a prophet. Even telling his two disciples where to get the donkey and its colt was prophetic. We can see why at this point the crowd only thought of Jesus as a prophet. They hadn’t seen him die and rise from the grave. This is how our last title for Jesus becomes known.
D. How does Jesus become a priest?
1. Later in this Holy Week, we recognize Jesus’ passion for us
2. Jesus will be betrayed, arrested and tried
3. Jesus will be killed – hung on a cross
4. Jesus becomes the sacrifice for our sin
5. Jesus becomes the way to make us right before God
6. The whole city didn’t know about Jesus. But we can know about Jesus. We can know the truth that Jesus died to set us free from sin and prepare us to be in the kingdom of heaven. There is no other sacrifice that can be made to make us right with God. It is Jesus’ death that makes us right with God.
Yes, today we do celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. For it is by Jesus entering Jerusalem, humbly on a donkey, that we realize more about who Jesus is.
Jesus is a king. Jesus is announcing in our very lives today that his kingdom is coming.
Jesus is a prophet. Jesus tells us to repent so we can enter the coming of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is a savior. He is the man who died for the entire world.
Jesus is a priest. It is by the sacrifice of Jesus that we can enter the kingdom of heaven.
This is good news for you, me, and the whole world. God sent Jesus for us. God sent Jesus so we could enter the kingdom of heaven. Will you believe in Jesus today?