Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
To Crown a King / The Triumphant Entry
by Erik Momsen
The account of Palm Sunday is as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago. Jerusalem and surrounding country lived in fear, poverty and oppression and all sides longed for peace, prosperity and alas, victory. The Jews were as far away from the Romans as they are away from the Palestinians today. Only the boot of human power is on the other foot.
THE RETURN OF THE KING
It was the time of the Passover in Jerusalem. The Jews were making preparations and the Romans increasing the garrison strength in preparation for trouble. The Passover was also a time of heightened expectation of the arrival of the Messiah. The enemies of Jesus openly planned his death and his arrival was not expected (John 11:51-57). It is clear however that Jesus was set on Jerusalem and even death in this city (Luke 9:51).
Jesus' choice of transport was also significant. The Jews were expecting a king and most of them expected a fight. Jesus picks a donkey and her colt as transport as fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9
"See your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt and the foal of a donkey". The donkey or mule was also the animal that David and Solomon rode (1 Kings 1:33).
Jesus was here clearly depicting himself as the Messiah, the Davidic king who would bring peace to Jerusalem and the nations (Zech 9:9--). He would do it through peaceful ways and not war. The entry was clearly a coronation as Mark notes that He entered and then left again the same night. The crowd aware of the miracles that had preceded this point and now seeing the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 broke out in loud voices:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." (Luke 19:38)
WEEPING OVER A LOST JERUSALEM
When they neared Jerusalem Jesus saw the city and wept for it because he knew of its imminent destruction in 70 AD. Their God and King had come to them and they "did not recognise the time of God's coming to you." (Luke 19:44)
Jesus had come as saviour but they did not receive Him so they must have Him as judge. Before all peoples the path of peace or violence are set out. The way of the Lord or their own ways.
The old priest Zechariah prophesies over John, his son, and also about the path of peace the Messiah would offer:- "You will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for Him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sin, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." (Luke 1:76-79)
Paul also speaks about Jesus being revealed from heaven with fire, judgement or salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10):- "The Lord is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord. ..."
JESUS REJECTS THE RELIGION OF MAN
Jesus enters the temple and judges the practices of money making in the temple and also the lack of spiritual value in their religion. The outer court where they have dragged animals into and set up money tables was the place where the gentiles were to receive the knowledge of God. All they could see was a market. The Jews did not care about the "lost". Churches do the same today. Too worried about finance and not enough about the lost. God's house is about prayer and worship.
1. The Messiah / King has arrived and the Jews and Romans are fearful and angry. They do not know or want the ways of heaven.
2. He clearly shows the way of peace without compromising His Rule, but they reject Him.
3. The result of this rejection is destruction and punishment for there can be no other way apart form the way of the Living God of Heaven.
4. Pure simple worship and prayer is what Jesus wanted.
Date Added: 2011-04-20
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