The Triumphant Entry (Palm Sunday)

I was supposed to preach at my church yesterday for Palm Sunday, but the service was cancelled because of  a snow storm.  I was going to speak on Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem:

“And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!  ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’  Hosanna in the highest!  And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, this is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”   Mt 21:8-11 NKJV

This day certainly marked a “triumphant” breakthrough for the disciples.  Up until this day, they had they been trying to convince Jesus to reveal Himself; to proclaim who He was,  and in all their previous attempts, Jesus kept saying, No!  But today, He says, OK, go get a donkey for me–I’ll into ride into Jerusalem!

The disciples were surely ecstatic and thinking, YES!  It’s time for the people to recognize what we’ve known all along and hail Him as King of the Jews.  He’s gonna do it!  He’s going to reveal Himself as Messiah!

But, Jesus wasn’t looking for that kind of accolade.  In fact, just before His Triumphant Entry He says, “I came not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give My life as a ransom.”  Matt 20:28

I’m sure the disciples thought they had talked Jesus into it, by their initiative, but the initiative to reveal Himself has always been completely the Lord’s:

“I’ve made myself available
to those who haven’t bothered to ask.
I’m here, ready to be found
by those who haven’t bothered to look.
I kept saying ‘I’m here, I’m right here’
to a nation that ignored me.
I reached out day after day
to a people who turned their backs on me”  Is 65:1  MSG

It occurred to me that at Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem,  there were in fact two distinct “views” of what was taking place.  What the disciples and the crowds were witnessing and what the Father saw.

Jesus Himself says in Luke’s account, ”If you’d only known that today is your day, but you don’t see it!” Lk 19:42

For example, the fact that Jesus came riding on a donkey.  All of the Gospels mention He did;  Matthew & John make it a point that Jesus did this fulfilling the prophesy of Zech. 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ESV   But John says in his Gospel, the disciples didn’t remember that at the time!  They didn’t have a clue, they were a part of fulfilling prophesy!  They probably thought, He’s just tired of walking, since it was about 19 miles from Jericho to Jerusalem.  John says it wasn’t until after the Cross that it dawned on them.

The only thing on the disciples mind was Jesus is about to make things “right!”  Whereas the Father knew Jesus was about to make all things “NEW.”

The disciples looked at Jesus as the Messiah of their own dreams and wishful thinking. “Who is this?”  Jesus, our Conqueror!!  The shouting and placing of palm branches in His path were typical expressions of honor given to military conquerors arriving back from a successful conquest.   Surely they were thinking, we are celebrating the soon to come conquest of the pagan Roman empire.   To them it was only a matter of time before Israel would conquer Rome and every enemy to the Jewish nation.  “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee,” the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!  They saw Jesus as their immediate political deliverer; “they thought that the kingdom of God was on the verge of appearing.”  Lk 19:11

But the Father saw a Spiritual Deliverer. The Father saw, not the dawning of a new political order, but a NEW COVENANT!  Jesus–not as a Lion, but as THE LAMB OF GOD.

Could it be that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem just before the Passover, was the Father bringing His Lamb for a symbolic “inspection”, fulfilling the requirement at Passover of having a perfect Passover Lamb?  You remember, about 3 years earlier, John the Baptist rightfully identified Jesus as “the Lamb of God Who came to take way the sin of the world.”  Jn 1:29

Sitting on a donkey, prophetically speaking of when “having made purification for sins, He sat down!” Heb 1:3

“Who is this?”  “The one you’ve all heard about, the one that raised Lazarus from the dead!” John points out that many that came to Jerusalem for this Passover, had heard about the miracle and they wanted to see Jesus and see Lazarus for themselves.

But if they saw what the Father saw—they would have realized they were looking at the unthinkable.  They were LOOKING at the Invisible God!  The very I AM–the Life that was with the Father from the beginning!  In the Incarnation, the Invisible God, for the first time in history, made Himself VISIBLE.  The Word that always was; Incarnate BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES!

I can’t help but think of Job 42:5–“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now MY EYES SEE THEE.”

Had they been able to see what the Father sees.

The same Jesus, but seen through different eyes!

Two Views.

Man’s understanding; God’s understanding. Our knowledge; God’s knowledge.  Two views of reality.  Two defining views; Two different Views.

I find it interesting, that as Jesus & the disciples are walking from Jericho to Jerusalem, on their way to His Triumphant Entry, Matthew’s Gospel points out, Jesus was confronted by two blind men. “What do you want for Me to do for you?”  “Lord, that our eyes might be opened.”

And Jesus healed them.  Those blind men experienced a serious breakthrough.

The Triumphant Entry, Palm Sunday was a breakthrough day.  No doubt about that.  Although in the mind of the disciples,  they envisioned their “breakthrough” playing out in a different way than it did in the next week.

Did you know there are two different definitions for the word, breakthrough? 

“BREAKTHROUGH”  1.  an act or instance of breaking through an obstacle   2. a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.  ( I really like that one!)

One of the greatest breakthroughs you can have in your life is allow God to change how you view things….from YOUR perspective to HIS perspective.  Because living from His perspective will forever, change the way you think about yourself, think about God, think about other people and the world around you.  Discovering what the Father knows to be true about you!  As Paul says, 1 Cor 13:12–TO KNOW, AS YOU ARE KNOWN.


One last point.

Of course, it was “right”–to hail Him and worship Him as King!  Jesus Himself said, that if the multitudes did not worship Him, the rocks would cry out!

What the Father did not deem “right” was, on that day, everyone in the crowd were merely spectators.  God is not interested in just drawing a crowd, He’s looking for participants. He is not satisfied with people staying on the side lines in their commitment to Him.  The Father is looking for partakers of Christ; partakers of His Life.

God is not pleased with, nor the least bit interested in distance or separation. That’s why Jesus came!

Jesus came not just as the promised Messiah, but as the mediator to draw all men into the very eternal union between the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus came to reconcile (“reunite; to bring back together”) God and man; therefore abolishing any distance, every excuse they or we could have to keep us separated from God.

THAT is worthy of our celebration!

He owns the applause displayed in the church and confirmed in Christ Jesus.  The encore continues throughout every generation, not only of this age, but also of the countless ages to come.” Eph 3:21 Mirror