The King is Coming

Coming back to the triumphal entry I started on last week.  The true King of Kings, the true Prince of Peace has arrived in Jerusalem.  He has arrived not like a war waging conqueror like Pharaoh or Caesar, he has arrived in the way of God.   He has come humble and lowly, his feet dragging the ground on a colt of a donkey, too small for him.  He’s arrived driving a ‘72 Pinto…

He’s humble and lowly. He’s a good king, he’s come to set the world right.  The whole caravan comes to the top of the Mount of Olives, and some begin to pull down branches, some take off their coats and throw them on the ground before this parody of a triumphal entry.  They make way for this king, a different kind of king, a humble and lowly king, a peaceful king riding on the foal of a donkey too small for him.  They are shouting Hosanna, save now, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the true king of Israel, the messiah, the king is coming!  All hail the king!!

But there were protesters.  The Pharisees.  They’ve been resisting Jesus almost from the beginning.  This religious, political conservative party that wants to take back Israel for God, but they want to do it their way.   They’re resisting Jesus, and this is now the final mention of the Pharisees.  From this point on the antagonism and conspiracy against Jesus  will be taken over by the chief priests, who are not Pharisees but mainly Sadduccees.

The final mention of the Pharisees – And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  Hey Rabbi, you better tell your disciples to stop it!  You hear what they’re saying?  They’re calling you the Messiah, they’re calling you the king of Israel.  If Pilate hears about this, if the governor hears about this, if Rome hears about this, there’s going to be trouble.  You better tell them to be quiet!!

To which Jesus says Not today!  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.””   Not this time.  He’s told them to be quiet.  He’s told them to be quiet all through his ministry.   When Peter confessed him as messiah he told them to keep quiet.   “Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.” Matthew 16:20 ESV.  But not today.  It’s all coming to pass now!  Today is the day the lord has made!!   Today is the day for the king to come into his kingdom!! I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.   Because it must be proclaimed today that Israel’s true king has come to the capital in Jerusalem.

So Jesus arrives in Jerusalem.  They are saying Hosanna, save now!   They are saying “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, from Psalm 118.   They are saying Blessed is the son of David, meaning the true king.  They are saying Blessed is the king of Israel, not Herod, he’s not the true king!   It’s this one, this prophet from Galilee, he’s the real king!

They are saying things like “…Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!””  Luke 19:38 ESV.   This is an echo of the Christmas song the angels sang.  At his birth the angels sang “”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”” Luke 2:14 ESV. Now, 33 years later as Jesus makes his triumphal entry they are saying peace in heaven and glory in the highest.  In other words, Jesus is completing his mission.  His mission has always been to announce, enact, and bring the kingdom of God.  Now here comes the king to the capital, bringing the reign and rule and government of God.

In celebrating Jesus as the coming king, the son of David, the long awaited messiah, the Palm Sunday crowd got Jesus right.  He’s all of those things, the son Of David, the king of Israel, he’s the long awaited messiah, he’s the one come to redeem israel, and they must hail him as king.  They must shout.  Jesus says if they don’t shout, the very stones would cry out.   It must be proclaimed on this day.   In this way, the Palm Sunday crowd Jesus right.  Tomorrow, we will look at how this same crowd had Jesus wrong….

“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.””

Luke 19:37-40 ESV

John Lewis


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