March 25, 2018
Palm Sunday 2018: Jesus the King
Palm Sunday is the day that we celebrate Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is the day that we recognize that Jesus is the true king, Israel’s Messiah. He was celebrated by the crowds, who shouted, “Save us!” as he rode into the holy city on a donkey, symbolizing an act of peace. The story of Palm Sunday is found in Luke 19:28-44, and it shows us three unique things that describe the kingship of Jesus.
First, Jesus was a needy king. He needs the colt in order to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, in which Israel’s Messiah rides the colt of a donkey into the city. This was a symbolic act that he was a king who came to bring peace, not war. A warrior king would have ridden a warhorse into the city as an act of defiance against Rome. He would have stirred the people to rebellion. But Jesus brought peace – peace between Jew and Gentile, but more importantly, peace between humanity and God.
Second, Jesus was a defiant king. The Pharisees urged him to shut the people up, but like he had done for his entire teaching and healing ministry, he defied them. He said that if his disciples kept quiet, even the rocks would cry out in praise! The Pharisees believed they were right, and they weren’t used to being defied.
Third, Jesus was a despondent king. He wept over the city of Jerusalem because he knew the fate that would befall her. His prophecy of Jerusalem’s destruction came true in 70 AD, when the Roman general Titus laid siege to the city and destroyed it.
Palm Sunday is a great day of celebration, but Jesus knew what lay before him. He knew that within just a few short days, the crowds of Jerusalem would turn on him, demanding his crucifixion. But nothing was going to stop Jesus from fulfilling his mission to save those who have been lost.