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Matthew 21:1-11-As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:  “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c] “Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus is called the Son of David in this passage.  Jesus is actually referred to as the Son of David seven times in the Gospels.  The phrase first appears in the genealogical registry in Matthew 1:1 where we learn about all of the people from whom Jesus descended.  Jesus wasn’t actually the “son” of David, but He was a descendant of King David, the first RIGHTFUL King in Israel.  King David was the first King that God chose for Israel.  

God made a promise to King David, a promise that was delivered through a prophet named Nathan, in II Samuel 7:12-13-“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

This is a Messianic reference, a reference to Jesus, His Kingship and His Kingdom.  People were looking forward to the One who would forever rule!  Someone greater than King David was coming.

Palm Sunday was the day that His crowd of followers shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”  And it was actually that phrase that became a trigger for the chief priests and teachers of the law a few verses later.  Jesus went into the temple courts and caused quite a stir by overturning the money changers tables and benches.  Those who were selling animals for temple sacrifices were cheating those who came to buy them.  Jesus rebuked them sharply saying that the temple was to have been a place of prayer, but it had been turned into a den of robbers. 

On the heels of that action-packed scene, Jesus started healing more people.  Everything Jesus did communicated so much.  The temple, the place of worship was to be a place of prayer and healing.  He was making Himself clear.  He was making His mission clear. 

And as children, little children, took it all in, they too shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” and it infuriated the chief priests and teachers of the law.  Jesus wasn’t just threatening the status quo, He was overturning it because He was the promised One who had the authority to do so.  If He truly was the Son of David, the One whose Kingdom would never end, life as they knew it was over.  Their religious reign was over.  The phrase “Son of David” meant more than prophet status for Jesus, it meant He was royalty.  He was the King, the Promised King whose kingdom would have no end!  When the crowd cried “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were literally praising God for sending His King!

Besides being the King of an eternal, unending Kingdom, what kind of King is Jesus?

Those palm branches that were being waved were symbolic of victory.  Jesus is a Victorious King.  In a way, this Palm Sunday display was a pre-victory parade.  A lot of times, after a big sports win or after a war as dedicated soldiers come home, there will be a parade to celebrate their victory.  The parade happens after the victory has been won.  In this story, we see the victory was being celebrated ahead of time.  There was confidence in that moment, that Jesus, the King, would not fail. 

What a novel idea…to celebrate the victory ahead of the win.  Do you know we can do that in our situation?  Do you know that we can claim that Jesus has the victory in our trial?

Another piece of the Palm Sunday narrative that gives us insight into what kind of King Jesus is, involves Him riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.  When He did, as I mentioned, He was fulfilling prophesy.  He was also signaling what His kingdom would look like. In the ancient world, donkeys were symbols of peace.  By riding in on the donkey, Jesus was indicating His intentions.  He was and is the King of Peace.  He was prophesied to be the Prince of Peace.  Zechariah 9:10 says, “He will speak peace to the nations.”

Ephesians 2:14 says that Jesus is our peace.  He is the reason we can have peace with God.  He is the reason we can have daily peace.

Luke’s Gospel account of the Palm Sunday episode contains another detail.  Luke 19:41 tells us that as Jesus approached Jerusalem, He wept.

Jesus is a Personal King.  He is moved by our needs.  He is touched by our pain and weaknesses.  Romans 8:34 tells us that He is praying for us to this day.  As He does, I can picture tears rolling down His face for those who are still imprisoned and enslaved to their own sin, to their own striving, to their own struggle.  I see Him praying right now for many here to get release and relief from their burdens.  And on that day that He rode into Jerusalem, before He enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of the parade, He allowed Himself to cry over the condition of the souls of people who were gathered in Jerusalem. 

Maybe you don’t think God cares about you.  Perhaps you don’t think you are on His radar.  I want to assure you that Jesus, the Son of David, is moved by your condition.

Jesus, the King, Jesus, the Son of David, has victory to give.  He has peace to give, but neither come to us until we allow Him to be our Personal King.  Becoming a Christian means accepting the rule and reign of Jesus over your life.  What you give us pales in comparison to what you receive.  I don’t have time to describe the benefits of becoming part of the Kingdom of God by allowing Jesus to become your Personal King.  Know this, He is here, now.  He is fighting for you because He is victorious.  He is granting you peace through His presence, and He is weeping over what is causing your soul to weep.  Look to Jesus, the King for the help you need today.

 

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