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The Triumphal Entry Mt. 21 : 1 - 11

June 5, 2016 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 21:1–21:11

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The Triumphal Entry

1When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3“If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5“SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION,
‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU,
GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY,
EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’”

6The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road.

9The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!”

10When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Those of us who have been around the Bible for some time and studied and read and listened to excellent teachers, even just a little will recognize this portion of scripture as what is commonly referred to as the Triumphal entry.

We have a week left to cover where we're at this morning until Jesus dies on the cross. A week for Him, not for us. Because we're only 3/4 of the way through Matthew. The gospel writers will all devote at least 25% of their narrative to this final week. Passion week.

From the beginning of His earthly ministry until now we've seen the little quote; "my time has not yet come." He said that to His mother at his first miracle at Cana. We read something like that when the crowd try to throw Him over cliffs at Nazareth. Over and over. They pick up stones to stone Him. He slips away. It isn't His time. Yet.

God, in eternity past, before there was time, set the moment in history when His Son's time would come, and the sins of the world would be laid upon Him. That moment is by sovereign design, and as we enter Jerusalem, we're at a benchmark in God's plan for redemption.

Scholars like to call this moment in history, the triumphal entry. But I'm going to stick my neck out and say this is not the triumphal entry. Let me show you the triumphal entry.

This astounding quote is from a man who was just seven generations removed from Adam who God created from the dust. Pictures of 4 generations all together at the same time are common. Every once in a while you might get 5 at the same place, all in the same photograph.

This man was seventh generation from Adam. His name was Enoch and he had a vision; This is the oldest recorded prophecy in the Bible, and it's about Jesus triumphant, and it matches perfectly with the rest of the book.

It's recorded for us in the book of Jude, Vs. 14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

That's the triumphal entry! We have it in Revelation 19
11And 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. 12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

That's the triumphal entry. John was the final prophet and he saw what Enoch the first prophet saw nearly 5 thousand years earlier, and 2000 years from us. The predictions span 5,000 years and they're identical. Prophecy begins and prophecy ends with this. Jesus, TRIUMPHANT! That's what the whole book is about.

We pray for the triuphal entry every time we say the Lord's prayer;
Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth!, as it is in heaven.

That prayer will finally come true when Jesus returns to this earth in triumph and victory. Teach that to your babies.

Let me show you the triuphal entry. Look with me in your Bibles to Zechariah, chapter 14. 2nd to the end of the old testament.

1Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

6In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.

8And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

9And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

The triumphal entry is all over this book. It's the big event. The day of the Lord! Satan is deposed and vanquished. Evil is judged. God reigns on this earth. That's the triumphal entry. It's meaningful that in our scene we're studying today, and in this ultimate victory scene, we're at the mount of Olives.

It's also interesting that when the Glory of God departed from the temple, and then from Jerusalem, in Ezekiel 11, it says; 22Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered over them. 23The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.

God departed from His people via the mount of Olives, and twice, once in indignity, and once in conquering splendor, He returns via the mount of Olives.

I can't resist just one final reference to the triumphal entry of Jesus the King of Kings. Matt. 24: 29 - 31 Jesus himself says;

But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

I think you get my point. This story today is about the humiliating entry.

I want to choose my words cautiously because I don't want you to mis-understand and think I'm denigrating the Lord Jesus in any way.

He is in full sovereign control of all of these events, and they are orchestrated by the sovereign plan of God for His glory and our good, but what we have here is best described in the final 3 words of verse 10. 10When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?

Who is this indeed? God's chosen people don't have a clue. Their messiah has come and done miracles only bounded by creation itself, the promised ONE, and they haven't got a clue.

A bunch of hill billies from Galilee have come with a strange man riding on a small donkey and they're making a giant fuss over him, putting their coats in the road and spreading palm branches. Who is he?

This is a Donald Trump rally. A Bernie Sanders event. People are happy and shouting for their candidate! The folks looking on are scratching their heads. What's this all about. Who is this guy?

Again, I'm going to be cautious with my words, but what we have here is God incarnate and a bunch of people who could care less. Watch it on the evening news. Or not. Something else might be on.

This is the man who spoke the worlds into existence, ex-nehilo, from nothing, visiting His chosen people, as He said He would, and they could care less. They wouldn't walk across the street to see this man.

This day gives a whole new meaning to John the apostle's words; Jn. 1:
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

We could better call this day, the Isaiah 53 entry. The humble servant entry.

1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

This is one of the saddest events ever recorded. God, who made the worlds, rode into town. Nobody cared. Their response. Who's this? What's the fuss?

That's our introduction. Let's look at the verses, quickly.

By the way; Do you think perhaps the world is in trouble when God who created it and owns it tells you He's coming, gives the exact day He'll be in town, and when He gets there, no one wants Him. They don't like Him. They don't want anything to do with Him. In fact He's such a nuisance . . . they devise a plan to murder Him.

Vs. 1 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me.

There's no reason to believe this is anything other than a show of sovereign omniscience.

Most of the commentators want to say this must have been pre-arranged. Why? This is the same God who said He owns the cattle on a thousand hill sides.

This is His donkey, His colt, and the ones who questioned the disciples that carried this out; He owns them too.

God is orchestrating these events; right down to the moment someone tied up that Mama donkey and her colt. Within minutes perhaps, Jesus walks into Bethpage, and tells two of His disciples to go untie that mother and colt and bring them to Him.

3“If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

This little scenario has been planned for eternity. Zechariah wrote it down 550 years before this day, under the inspiration of God. The time has come. To the second.

5“SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION,
‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU,
GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY,
EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’”

In this part of the world, and in this time frame, this is not the way a conqueror enters. A conquror comes with a big display of might and power, armies, and riding a white horse!

A donkey is it's own message. The rider is coming to you in peace. This gesture sends the opposite message from armies and might and a white war horse.

One reason Rome didn't pay any attention to someone making a Kingly entrance was because He didn't come in a fashion that would cause them to pay any attention. Rome isn't threatened by someone on the foal of a donkey with a rag tag group of followers from hick town.

This is the perfect plan of God, unfolding.

We should note the detail of the prophecy. It was written approximately 550 years prior to the events that we're looking at. It's very detailed.

5“SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION,

Who is the "daughter of Zion". It's God's chosen people. God often refers to His people as daughter. It's an affectionate term.

BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU,

This is messianic prophecy. They were looking for a King. In the lineage of David, who would bring peace and prosperity. He would triumph over their enemies.

GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY,
EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’”

Who wants a gentle King? They wanted a King who would ride in on a white horse and crush Rome.

The fulfillment of this prophecy is stunning. Because both entries are easy to find in the old testament. Glorious Conqueror. Humble Servant. How does one king fulfil both of those scenario's.

Israel had made their choice. They were going with the glorious conqueror, or nothing.

They're still there today! 2,000 years later. glorious conqueror or nothing. Think about the ramifications of that.

When the anti-christ rides in, conquering by peace, no sword, on a white horse, 2000 years later, Israel is still primed. That's the one they want.

God told them when He was coming. 70 weeks of years, minus one week, from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. They should have known the day. And God told them how He would arrive, to the animal. The foal of a donkey.

He arrived on time, exactly how the prophets said, and the daughter of zion didn't want Him. Who is this?? they said.

6The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road.

This seems so hopeful, doesn't it? Who is this crowd?

We can talk about what drives people, politically. It's very easy to get caught up in it. We get caught up in the political process and part of what motivates us is the hope that our guy, the one we want, can really make a difference short term and long term in our lives.

Ultimately, it's about us. We do what we do politically because we believe somehow, the guy we want, will make our lives better.

These folks have been traveling with Jesus. They've seen disease eradicated. They've witnessed miracles only God can do. They've been fed, maybe more than once, by food that never existed before the moment. Wheat that never grew. Fish that never swam. Created out of nothing, by Jesus.

John tells us they were on the brink of forcing Him to be King. But it wasn't His time. But then, it is His time, and He sets His face toward Jerusalem, and all of these folks are going to the convention to make Jesus, their candidate, for King.

The phenomenon is really no different than a political rally today. The fervor builds. People get convinced their lives will be better if so and so gets into power. They form a mob and have a convention.

I dare say the conventions this year might be more impressive than these folks who have the Jesus for King banners who have followed Him to Jerusalem. The similarities are patent. This is politics and these folks want Jesus for King! And finally! He seems willing to go along with it!

9The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!”

That's what their political banners said. They were shouting and holding them up for the cameras.

I've painted a rather cynical view so far in my preparation to this point.

I'm sure that a small remnant of these folks were true believers. Perhaps a hundred or more. But, by the end of the week, these folks have vanished. Or not.

Some of them may have been so disillusioned by their King choice, they join the mob that removes Him. He doesn't turn out to be the King they wanted. One who feeds them and miraculously makes Rome go away. Not at all.

In fact instead of attacking Rome, He starts right in on Israel. He's no threat to Rome at all!

But for this day, no matter their fickleness, God Almighty uses them to sing out praise and glory for His Chosen One. They will perform that service for God, not because their hearts are right, but because God is sovereign.

If these hadn't been present to do it, the stones would have cried out. It is written. Thus it happens.

This humiliating entry was both necessary and triumphant, but not in a way the world recognizes.

Here's why. From the most ancient and also the very first prophet, seven generations from Adam, to the final prophet who closed out God's revealed truth, the plan of God is intact.

The triumphant entry, when Satan is deposed and God takes back the reign on this earth, includes 10,000's plural of His holy ones. His saints.

God didn't have to do it that way. He could have crushed Satan, and all men, and been righteous to do so. He doesn't owe men . . . anything.

But it pleased God to include myriads of men, women, and children from every tribe and family of the earth who were formerly captives of Satan, with Him when He comes and crushes Satan and his hosts along with all of the wicked men who have hated Him.

But a Righteous God can have no part with fallen men. First He had to come and accomplish a redemption that satisfied all righteousness. And the terms are perfectly clear. The wages of sin is death. Someone must die to pay the penalty for rebellion against Holy God.

That brings us full circle again, back to Jesus riding into the city of God on a foal of a donkey. This is a necessary part of the triumphal entry, with myriads of His saints. He has to purchase those saints out of their captivity in order for them to accompany Him in glory.

In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul uses a quote out of Psalm 68. 17 The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness. 18You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.

Eph. 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

8 Therefore it says,
“WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.

We are the captivity that He led captive. We are the myriads that He gave His gifts of grace to. That all begins on this day that He rode on the foal of a donkey, into Jerusalem.

10When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?”

Who is this? That's the penultimate question, isn't it. Who Is Jesus?

In John 10, Jesus says; 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me

11And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jerusalem, who should have recognized their visitation and their King, says; Who is this?

And the crowd who have followed Him there, who have political aspirations for Him, they want Him to be a conquering King, those folks answer This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth. That answer falls short of who He is. The incarnate Son of God.

Jesus posed a question earlier to the rulers of Israel, about John.
Mt. 11:8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in kings’ palaces. 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Behold, I will send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.’…

Jesus says John was elevated above just being a prophet. More than a prophet. Why. Because John was the special messenger who would announce Messiah.

If the announcer is more than a prophet, how much more so, the one announced! This is Jesus, messiah, Son of the Living God.

He has come to set the captives free. To lead them to heaven. His sheep know Him, intimately, and personally. And they follow Him. They will return in glory with Him, some day.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch, like me.
I once was lost, but now am found! Was blind, but now I see.

Those of us who know and love the Lord Jesus don't ask Who is this? We wait for His return to take those of us who are living, and those who have slept, to heaven for the marriage supper of the lamb.

After that we will return with Him, in glory, at His triumphal entry as He judges all wickedness and sets up His throne in Jerusalem. We'll have an aerial view of the second coming, and the Mount of Olives, because we will be there with Him.