When Jesus Arrives Michael Duduit January 1, 2004 Luke 19:28-40 Everyone loves a parade, don’t they? Whether it’s the Macy’s Parade on Thanksgiving Day, that helps kick off the Christmas-buying season; the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, which celebrates the start of a new year; or the Fourth of July parade in your own hometown, which commemorates the founding of the nation. Did you notice that each parade has some meaning or purpose behind it – some event or significance that it celebrates? That day when Jesus entered the holy city of Jerusalem – the day we now know as Palm Sunday – was a parade unlike any other. And for every participant the day had a different meaning. The truth is, whenever Jesus arrives at our door, He calls us to decide what He will mean in our lives. When Jesus Arrives, It Will Cost Something The forgotten persons in this story are the owners of the donkey – perhaps a husband and wife, or a father and son. Jesus sent two disciples ahead into the small village of Bethpage or Bethany, to obtain a young donkey (or “colt”). Had the use of the donkey been prearranged? That’s possible. It’s also possible that when the disciples said the Lord needed the donkey, the owners knew exactly who Jesus was and willingly allowed them to take their animal; remember that right there in Bethany only days before, Jesus had called Lazarus from the tomb. It’s not too much to think that in the aftermath of such a miraculous event, the owners of this donkey were willing to grant any request the Lord might make. So they willingly parted with their property so that Jesus could use it. Is there something in your life Jesus might wish to use? Are you willing to willingly hand it over to Him? Is He calling you to yield your financial resources? Does Jesus want to use a particular talent or gift in your life? Is Jesus asking you to make a significant change that is going to impact every part of your life? Whatever the cost, are you willing to respond to Him? When Jesus Arrives, It Will Call for a Response So Jesus, riding on the young donkey, begins his ride into Jerusalem, passing near the Mount of Olives. Even as He rode, Jesus was acting out a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. There’s a crowd there, consisting of many different kinds of people, and each had their own response to Jesus. The disciples were praising Him. Verse 36 tells us that people lay their cloaks along the road as a sign of homage and respect. As He approached they shouted praises to him as the “king who comes in the name of the Lord.” Some had expectations of Him. Luke doesn’t include it, but the gospel of John tells us that some of the people were waving palm branches and throwing them on the path in front of Jesus. There was a special, political meaning to such an act in that context. The palm branch was a symbol of the Maccabean reign over Israel. Two centuries earlier, Judas Maccabees led a Jewish revolt that overthrew the Syrian occupiers and claimed freedom for the Jewish people; the palm branch appeared on Maccabean coins and was a symbol of that period for many Jewish people, who now looked for a new warrior-king to overthrow the Roman occupiers and again free the land. Still others criticized Him. The Pharisees heard the shouts of joy, perhaps recognized the political overtones of the palm branches, and called on Jesus to rebuke the crowd. Where others saw joy and deliverance, the Pharisees saw a threat to their own position. What about you? How will you respond to the arrival of Jesus? Will you try to fit Him into your own agenda? Will you reject Him as a threat to your own interest? Or will you receive Him with praise? _________________ Sermon brief provided by: Michael Duduit, Editor, Preaching. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.