- Sermon Notes
Much More Than A Donkey Ride
March 28, 2021(PM)
I wanted to start out this evening by putting into perspective the importance the gospel writers gave to the text surround-ing Palm Sunday – –
Psalm 24:9-10; Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.
Less than one week before He was put to death, Jesus entered Jerusalem to the sound of the people glorifying and praising His name.
We’re just in Luke c19 and already we’re dealing with the final week of Jesus Christ on the earth.
• If you were to look at the Gospel of Matthew, two-fifths of Matthew is devoted to this final week.
• Three-fifths of the gospel of Mark is devoted to final week.
• In Luke, one-third is devoted to the final week
• And in John, just about one-half.
By the numbers, here’s the level of importance the gospel writers placed on what is called Passion Week; the week that we are entering into starting today.
• In the four gospels, there are a total of 89 chapters.
• Of those 89 chapters, four cover the first 30 years of Jesus’ life.
• 85 chapters cover the last 3 1/2 years of His life.
• And 29 of those 85 cover the last week.
I. The Triumphal Entry
Background: v29 – Who was from Bethany? – Mary, Mar-tha and Lazarus lived there.
Route to Mount of Olives – coming from the east through Bethany cresting over the top of Mount of Olives, down through the Kidron Valley, coming into Jerusalem.
v30 – Jesus sent two disciples to get the Donkey…
• No one has ever ridden it.
• They did as He said…and put Jesus on it.
Side Note: My son Grant’s in-laws have a donkey on their cattle farm and I asked them why?
• “Lucy” protects the newborn calves from coyote at-tacks and has proved to be smarter than horses & easy to care for.
• I also learned donkeys live between 30-40 years of age. Some can live up to 60 years.
So this event is of course known as Jesus’ Triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
A. Prophesy, Kings and Donkeys
But why on a Donkey?
Ancient Israel – a donkey – a royal animal
In 1 Kings, a time of King David’s old age, he had his son Solomon put on his personal mule and brought into Gihon and led him through the streets of Jerusalem.
However the bigger question here is – why did He ride this donkey at all – He had been walking everywhere up to now, so why the donkey?
Matthew 21:4; Now this took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold your King is coming to you,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
He rode the donkey to fulfill what the prophet Zechariah said…fulfilling the great prophesy in the OT.
The Gospel of Luke did not quote Zechariah 9:9, but Matthew and John did, directly linking the manner in which Je-sus entered Jerusalem to Zechariah’s prophecy. The Jews tragically did not recognize this sign.
Zechariah 9:9; Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is righteous and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
In other words, you have a King, He is going to come to you, and when He comes to you, He’s coming to you on a donkey.
So Jesus asked for a donkey, because He is presenting Him-self to them as their King.
Note in Revelation, He comes on a horse to wage war –
Revelation 19:11; And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
• The Bible says He comes to judge and to make war. But here He is, the Prince of Peace, and He’s offering terms of peace to them.
B. Be a Follower not a Pharisee
Now who’s in this crowd? It’s a crowd of religious people; here in Jerusalem for a religious festival, the festival of Pass-over.
• There were three mandatory feasts that every Jewish per-son was required to be in Jerusalem for depending on their distance from the city.
• Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles
This was their Passover
• This is when they celebrated the deliverance of their forefathers from the bondage of Egypt –
• Every year they took the same routes up to Jerusa-lem.
• Every year they went through the same rituals.
• Every year they made the same prescribed prayers. And, frankly, for a whole lot of people, it had just gotten old, and they were clamoring for something more than what their religion was offering.
They found out Jesus was in town, and they all gravitated to Him. And they spontaneously start shouting, Hosanna!
Jesus was a breath of fresh air in a climate of a stagnant religious experience. But not everyone was happy to see Him, were they?
You will recall, this was after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead – some Jews went to the Pharisees to tell them what Jesus had done.
John 11:47-48, 57; Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
II. Jesus weeps for the lost
Coming into Jerusalem, He sees the magnificence of it all. But what happened – approaching – he wept – the Greek NT says, he “sobbed” over the city.
He saw beyond all that was happening – saw a city full of people, no peace, broken on the inside – rejecting the only person who could give them that peace.
And notice what Jesus said at the end v44, …”because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
• What on earth is He talking about? When he says, your time, this is your day, this is the time of your visitation?
• What Jesus is referring to is a prediction made by their own prophet, the Jewish prophet, Daniel, in Daniel chap-ter 9 where Daniel gives a precise timetable for the coming of their Messiah in just two verses.
Daniel 9:26-27; Then after the sixty-two weeks, the Mes-siah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come the one who makes desolate, until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, gushes forth on the one who makes desolate.”
• A heavenly messenger tells Daniel of the destruction and rebuilding of Jerusalem.
• It’s a very odd but precise scripture. From the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah, the Prince – 483 years, and then the Messiah will be killed.
A. The King of Kings has open arms
It’s as if Jesus says, God sent Me to you and you didn’t recognize it or you refused to recognize it.
35 years later history tells us, the Jews fell to the Roman Empire – Nero sent 4 Roman Legions to the city, surrounded the city, captured the city and destroyed the city ~ 70 AD
• Josephus, probably the most trusted Jewish historian, recorded that 1.1M Jews were killed and 90K others placed into slavery. Jesus knew this was coming because He was God in the flesh.
• 1.1M would die for rejecting Him – separated from God.
• …Our King, gripped by the tragedy of it all – He sat on the Mount of Olives and Wept.
Why not a second chance?
• He’s been giving many chances for years, causing miracles to show who He is – then after He rose from the dead, He gave these people 35 more years of chances while the whole early church preached the gospel to them in Jerusalem.
Remember – God is the God of many 2nd chances, but eventually His patience runs out like it did here.
2 Peter 3:9; The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
If you are here and have never trusted your life to Jesus Christ, you’ve never committed your heart and soul, traded in all your good works or religious activity and instead placed your trust in His shed blood –
I’m telling you today on Palm Sunday, He is giving you an-other 2nd chance…you can do it today…sooner or later we don’t know when – but God’s patience will run out and judgment will come just like it did for these Jews.
However, the truth is, if you want to have a hard heart, God will respect your wishes.
He won’t agree with that choice because He loves you regardless. But, He also will not stop the consequences of that choice.
B. Are you prepared to sit with Him
Question – If Jesus were to show up here today, what would He do…maybe exactly what He did 2000 years ago in Jeru-salem.
• Pass by our nations memorials & monuments.
• Pass by all the power and greed in government.
• See thousands of lost people who desperately need Him, spiritually blind or hardened, they don’t even know or care.
• In our Nation, I think He would sit on the steps of the Lin-coln Memorial, sit in the terminal of our beautiful airport, maybe a bench at Washington Square – – and He would Weep.
Now you come along and sit down next to Him and try to console Him for His pain, you put your arm around Him and see the pain in His face, the redness in His eyes from ho-ly tears –
With a sad voice to you and me He would ask, “why aren’t you weeping along with me? If you saw people in this na-tion the way I see them, you’d be weeping too.”
C. His story begs us to respond
You love the story each year, but what does it really have to say to you and I?
Matthew 11:28-30; “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.”
Great need of the hour for the church today – to see our world like Jesus sees it –
I sincerely hope you will never be the same after today.
• Never be able to walk down the street, sit on the train, at a coffee shop or restaurant and realize many of the people surrounding us need the Lord.
• Pray for our nation – ask God to show you how to make a difference.
Luke 19:28-44 NASB
28 After Jesus said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the [a]mountain that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village [b]ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘[c]The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent left and found it just as He had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its [d]owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “[e]The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 Now as He was going, they were spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 And as soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God [f]joyfully with a loud voice for all the [g]miracles which they had seen, 38 [h]shouting:
“Blessed is the King, the One who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And yet some of the Pharisees [i]in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!” 40 Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these stop speaking, the stones will cry out!”
41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known on this day, even you, the conditions for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you [j]when your enemies will put up a [k]barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground, and throw down your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon [l]another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”