Today is Palm Sunday, the day that we as the church traditionally celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, beginning the last week of His life before going to the cross and rising from the dead. All four of the gospels tell the story although some of the details vary from one account to the next. They do not contradict each other, they simply focus on specifics that either stood out to the author or would have been important to the original reader. John ties the triumphal entry to the resurrection of Lazarus, writing that Jesus was in Bethany for a banquet with Lazarus, Mary and Martha; that many came to see Lazarus because they had heard of his resurrection and put their faith in Jesus because of seeing Lazarus alive. He also writes that this is where Mary anointed Jesus with very costly oil, preparing His body for death and burial. John also adds a line to the shouts of the crowd as Jesus rode toward Jerusalem, he tells us that in addition to the song recorded in all the other gospels that the people shouted “The King of Israel”, using the exact same language that Nathanael had used when he first met Jesus in John 1:49. Matthew gives us the details of the preparation for the entry, that Jesus sent two of His disciples with specific instructions of what kind of animal to get, where to find it and what to tell the owners when they took it. He also tells us that after the people had sung their song and celebrated Jesus’ presence that they exclaimed Him as “the prophet from Nazareth”. Mark’s account follows the same form as Matthew’s telling us about the details of the animal, the reaction of the people as they laid down their coats and cut down palm branches and laid them on the roadway so that Jesus could ride upon them. Mark also adds that the people were announcing more than Jesus’ arrival but what they believed Jesus was bringing with Him as they shouted “Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes . . .”   Luke gives us the most details of the triumphal entry. He writes about Jesus sending His disciples to get the colt, about the crowd and their praises, the song they sang and even the Pharisees reaction to hearing it and then Luke shows us Jesus’ heart by writing that in the midst of this triumphant ride Jesus “burst into tears” because of the trouble that was soon to come, not to Him, but to Jerusalem, His city, the city of the Great King. Today we are going to read the account in Luke 19 together but then we are going to focus on the song that the crowds sang to Jesus. The people sang a song fit for a king but they didn’t understand the fullness of the King’s character or the purpose of the King’s kingdom. Jesus rode into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week as a Priest, to offer Himself as the Passover Lamb. He entered Jerusalem as the Prophet that God had promised through Moses in Deuteronomy 18, a prophet whose mouth was filled with God’s Words and whom God would require the people to listen to. Jesus was being presented by His Father not as a prophet but as the Prophet. He was the King they celebrated but the enemies He would thwart first would not be of this world but they would be the enemies of our hearts, our souls and our minds. They sang “Hosanna!” and Jesus answered their prayer according to the character of His Father and the purpose of His heart. I would like for us to read Luke 19:28-44 and then in a few minutes we will turn and read Psalm 118 together and we will try to see the Triumphal Entry through the lens of the final Passover Psalm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.