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When our loved ones return home we are always glad to see them.  However, the extent of our joy is usually in direct correlation to how long they have been away—a few hours, a day, many days, a year…or longer.  The longer we wait for someone to arrive, typically the more excited we are to see them and the greater our joy in their return.

The Triumphal Entry

There was a jubilant atmosphere among the people of Israel on the first day of the week when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  The people had waited a long time for the promised Messiah.  Since the time of Abraham, they had longed to see their promised King, the Seed promised in the Garden and confirmed to Abraham–the Seed who would conquer their enemies and bless the nations (Genesis 22:17-18).

For centuries Israel had awaited the coming of their King. But this King did not look as they would have expected. 

  • Kings rode on horses.  This King rode on a donkey.  
  • Kings were adorned in royal apparel.  This King wore the clothes of a humble peasant. 
  • Kings were accompanied by an entourage of fighting men.  This King rode in alone, followed only by a few friends.  
  • Kings had many servants.  This King served many.
  • Kings ruled over the people. This King ministered to the people.
  • Kings feasted on sumptuous foods prepared for them.  This King multiplied fish and loaves to feed others.
  • Kings wore crowns of gold and precious gems.  This King soon wore a crown of thorns.
  • Kings made loud proclamations and the people were silent.  This King was stood silent when the people yelled, “Crucify Him.” 
  • Kings were protected at all costs.  This King soon gave His life paying the cost of all sin.

 

This King was unlike any other king, and yet, when this King rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He was hailed by the people.

Mark 11:9-10  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.  Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

The people expected a King and they hailed Jesus as King.  They expected the Kingdom of David to be re-established. But that’s not what they got.  It was what they wanted, but it was not what they needed.  

Jesus had not come to be King of the land. He came to be the King of their hearts.  God’s plan was very different than what the people had hoped for. Their desire had been to have a ruler who would overcome the Roman oppression.  One who would restore them to dominion of their land and would give them rule over the surrounding nations.  That’s the King for whom they had been waiting. And one day, Jesus will come and He will be that King.  One day Israel will receive their full inheritance. But the day in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem was not that day.  

When Jesus returns, He will come as the King of kings, the Lord of lords and He will rule and reign.  When that day comes, Jesus will come in judgment to judge the earth and all who live therein.  No one will want to stand before King Jesus on that day unless they are already covered by the blood of the Lamb.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that Sunday afternoon, He began His journey to the cross.  The date was Nisan 10 on the Jewish calendar. It was the day in which the lambs were selected for the annual Passover sacrifice.  On Nisan 14, Jesus Himself became that sacrifice. Jesus was the perfect Lamb of God, and He became the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for the sins of the world.  

Today, Jesus still is the perfect Lamb of God, whose blood covers sin and washes man clean.

Revelation 1:5-6 …Unto [Jesus] who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood...to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Palm Sunday

As we commemorate Palm Sunday, let it be a remembrance that we have seen our King and we have received our King according to God’s plan.  For all of us who have trusted in the perfect Lamb of God, and His finished work on the cross, our sins have been forgiven.  We have been washed in His blood (Revelation 1:5), we have been given His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He reigns as King in our hearts.

Are you glad to see Jesus?  YES!  As you look to Him ponder the words of the psalmist:

For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O LORD, how great are Your works! (92:4)

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. (9:2)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. (16:9)

Look for Jesus every day, keeping your eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:2) and joyfully looking forward to the day, whether it be in our lifetime or a time far future when Jesus will return for His church. And then, when Jesus will return as the King of kings to judge, reign, and rule over all the earth. 

Our sins are paid for and we belong to the King.  We are worthy to be included in His kingdom now and forever more ….and we are always glad to see Him.  As you look to Jesus on Palm Sunday and consider the beginning of His journey to the cross, remember:

This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

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As you walk through next week, remembering the Lord’s good work, look also for those who do not know Jesus.  Help them to understand the two-fold mission of God.  Jesus came first as the sacrificial Lamb and He will come again as the ruling King.  No one will want to stand before the King and face judgment if they do not have the blood atonement of the Lamb.

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Share the gospel of saving grace with someone today.  Tell them how they can enter into the Kingdom of God now as a child of God, a “joint-heir with Christ”  Tell them how they can inherit all that Jesus offers them and be one of the blessed,  “…who come in the name of the Lord.”

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