The expected King
By Ysrael De la Cruz
Last year around this time, our lives changed significantly. Our normal ways of doing things changed. We even lost the sense of time. Maybe you were one of those who struggled to know what day of the week it was. When our way of life is altered, we feel discombobulated, and some lose their sense of purpose in life. You remember vividly where you were and what you were doing a year ago today. Today is what we know in our calendar as Palm Sunday. For some people, it is the week before Easter. However, what is significant about this day? The Bible calls it “The triumphant entry” and the four gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell us about it. the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It is also the inauguration of what we know as passion week. The week leading to Christ’s death and resurrection.
What was this about?
This was the time when Jesus intentionally showed himself to the world as the expected Messiah. Nothing in the life of Jesus happened by chance or coincidence; He was always aware of time. You get a sense of this when you read the gospels and hear phrases like “the hour is here; the time has not yet come.” The time will come when.” Jesus operated by a heavenly timeframe. He knew his mission and the timeframe by which he would complete it. Jesus knew it was time to show himself to the world, as the expected King.
Matthew 21:1-11 tells us how Jesus planned this event.
-Jesus sent two disciples to get the donkey (v.1)
If anyone says anything to you, tell them “The Lord needs them.” (v.3)
What is significant about this day?
Matt.21:4 This was the fulfillment of a prophecy. The coming of the king of Israel (Messiah). The prophet Zechariah spoke about how the King Messiah would be known; how he will make his entrance.
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
Jesus intentionally fulfilled the prophecy; this is the only time in his ministry that he allowed the crowd to welcome him as king.
John tells us that on one occasion people tried to force Jesus to become the king they expected. (John 6:15). This time Jesus let the crowd hail him king. It was time.
Matt.21:6-8 The disciples went and did as Jesus had told him.
People celebrated their expected King Messiah. (v.8) very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
-They shouted “Hosanna to the son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest! (v.9)// Psalm 118:24-26
People celebrated Jesus in such a way because they believed him to be the expected Messiah King. This was an event in the city of Jerusalem that everyone would remember. The whole city was stirred up; some asked, who is this? The crowd said. This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee. The crowd welcomed Jesus as a prophet, as the Messiah, the king.
However, the expectation they had was not the same as Jesus’ expectation of his mission.
The crowd expected a king like David, a revolutionary leader who would rise to power and challenge the Roman rule.
-They expected a political king; and they saw Jesus as that figure
People’s expectation vesus God’s expectation
-Political king -global king
-Palace in Jerusalem -a cross outside the city
-Geographical deliverance – universal deliverance from sin
-Save us we pray – I will, but not yet, not as you expect
Jesus was the expected king, but when he entered the city, he did as a humble king, as the suffering servant that Isaiah speaks about. People had forgotten or not understood the prophecy. Your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey. People missed the imagery of the donkey; rulers did not ride on donkey unless they were going on a mission of peace. Jesus is entering the city gentle and humble, on a mission of peace. It did not take long for people to realize that Jesus was not going to do what they wanted. Days later, they would shout to Jesus, away with this impostor, crucify him, crucify him.
Jesus was and is the king that entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, nearly two millennia.
When he was born magi from the East came looking for the king of the Jews. Matt.2:2
Mary his mother was told he will be great, and he will reign on David’s throne forever. Luke 1:32-33
-During his trial, he was asked by Pilate if he was the king of the Jews. (John 18:33-36
( v.36)Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
(v.37)Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Jesus will once again come to earth to establish his kingdom forever. That will be the time when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess him as Lord. He will come to put an end to evil and to repay those who knowing who he is refused to acknowledge him as Lord. Rev.19:11-16
When he comes back, the Lord’s prayer will be fulfilled. “Your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.”
You are I are waiting for that time.