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Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Triumphal Entry.

P.A.Thatcher
Mustard Seed
Callington
29th March 2015


(Luke 19:28-40)



The Coming King of Zion

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is He,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
His rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 9:9-10


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Background:

Matthew tells us in his account of this event that it was prophesied to happen (Matt. 21:4). Prophesy is often difficult to understand and requires us to labour in the Word to find the truths contained within. The prophesy found in Zechariah is one of those difficult passages to follow. Therefore for today's purposes we will take it as read that the Lord Jesus Christ is the promised coming King and that this day just one week before His sufferings the fulfilment is accomplished. God was promising salvation through a King who would be very different to any other king that has or will ever live.

This King:

  • Is coming to His people.
  • He is Righteous and has salvation.
  • He is humble.

That is the order that this Kings attributes are declared by God's prophetic word but for our purposes today we will consider them in a different order:

  1. Jesus is a humble King.
  2. Jesus is the righteous King who brings salvation.
  3. King Jesus comes to His people.

  1. Jesus is a humble King.

We live in a world where humility is not a celebrated attribute. In fact humility is more often than not completely mis-interpretted. On the one hand there is the Uriah Heep type of humility which in reality is gross pride in a self assessment of his lowly estate. That is certainly not the type of humility that this King is to display.

There is also a scornful understanding of humility which in our self possessed society is more interested in the promotion of the personal rights of individuals which is often to the detriment of others. This mindset makes true humility to be a weakness of character which in turn produces a lack of self worth and purpose. Again that is clearly not the humility that Jesus was displaying.

The prophet Zechariah is speaking of a King who will be no ordinary king. This is the KING Supreme who is King of all kings that have ever or will ever live. This King is humble. As we are well aware it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom Zechariah is speaking of.

Scripture elsewhere speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as having deliberately making Himself a little lower than the angels. That he did not count equality with God as of great importance for the purpose of His coming. He was not concerned for His own rights but He put the needs of others at the fore of all things. In fact He deliberately became a curse in order that those under the curse of sin could be exalted.

That is not weakness and it is certainly not false humility; this is our King.

In fact on the day that the fulfilment took place the crowd briefly recognised His Kingship. They spontaneously welcomed Jesus as they would a conquering king on His entry into the capital city. The history of this goes back to the time of Jehu (as recorded in 2 Kings 9). The prophet Elisha in a time of turmoil in Israel had earlier anointed Jehu to be king in secret. When Jehu's servants discovered the truth all of them in great haste put garments under his feet for him to walk over. This was a clear sign of exaltation for the new king. Over the centuries that tradition will have been enhanced further but the point is that this crowd saw Jesus as King. Therefore they put their coats on the floor for His donkey to ride over and also waved branches from the trees and praised God for a new King amongst them. Jesus came in humility but the people on that day saw His authority.

The colt of the donkey is another fascinating issue. The prophet announced that when the King of salvation comes he will ride a humble donkey. He will come with a purpose but not a song and dance. White horses are reserved for victory celebrations and of course there is a victory parade to come in the future when Jesus will return in victory and will be riding the victor's white horse (see revelation 19:11ff). But for now the mode of entrance into Jerusalem the capital city was not to ride a donkey but not just any donkey. This was a young donkey that has been borrowed. The King comes with nothing of His own but yet He comes with a vital purpose.

I am always amazed at how the owners so freely gave their treasured beast of burden to unknown men simply because the Lord has need of him. That of course is the key, it was for the Lord who had clearly moved the owners heart to be involved in this most important of processions. The donkey had never been sat upon before and hence a miracle is accomplished. The donkey was no bucking bronco which would have made the whole episode a farce. The donkey submitted to the most Humble Man that ever lived and brought Him into His capital city. Quietly and without fuss despite the great throng who waved, shouted, sang and gave thanks to God for their King.

There is so much here in itself for a whole message but I do want to look at the other 2 points in order to have a more complete understanding. But before we move on there are some thoughts and challenges that I must pass on:

  • Do you recognise through His humility that Jesus is your Lord as did the crowd.
  • Humility was a most powerful mark of the Lord of all glory and we are to be like Him. Are you known for your humility or do others only see pride and arrogance?
  • The owners of the donkey gave to Jesus sacrificially, it did not gain salvation for them. That was to be accomplished at a later stage but they gave of their belongings for the cause of Jesus. Are you as generous towards the work of Jesus as they were?
  • The crowd greeted the King praising and adoring Him in their presence. The King is among us are you really praising Him with all of your hearts today?



  1. Jesus is the righteous King who brings salvation.

Paul summed up the first 3 verses of Psalm 14 when he wrote:None is righteous, no, not one” in Romans 3:10. We know from our studies of the bible and also from our own hearts how true that is. Unlike many today I do not believe that mankind is evolving into a perfect being and that humanity is getting ever closer the ideal. The reality is that since the day of the fall and we have degenerated away from the the perfection in which we were created! Sin caused a gulf which is impossible for us to breach. The gulf consist of God's righteousness on one side and our total depravity on the other. There is a rift in between that it is impossible for man to breach. Religion has tried ever since the fall but will always fail because there is nothing that we can do that will please God. There is absolutely no righteousness within us that is worth a fig as far as our salvation is concerned. There is none from amongst us who is righteous and able to help us in our predicament.

But

There is hope: Jesus Christ was promised and He came as the Righteous One who is the fulfilment of God's promise and He has accomplished salvation for us. The only One capable of accomplishing salvation has come and He has achieved it.

This most humble of men is the only man who has lived perfectly and is without sin which are the qualifications which are necessary for the forgiveness of our sin. The way that our salvation works is this: the perfectly Righteous One exchanges His perfect nature for the sinful nature of His friends. The result of this is that when God looks at a friend of Jesus' He only sees the perfection of Jesus therefore His wrath and anger for sin is turned away (propitiated) from us and is directed to Jesus on our behalf.

On the cross Jesus bore the burden of our sin and God had to turn His face away from the curse that hung there in our place. Jesus could only cry out at that moment: “My God why have you forsaken me?” which was not a declaration of his doubt but it was a declaration that Psalm 22 was being played out in their very presence. (More of that on Good Friday.) It is by the cross that Jesus brings salvation to us!

Note

We do not deserve salvation, we cannot pay for it, it is simply God's gift of grace to His friends. Zechariah saw that from afar but now we know that it is found only in Jesus; who on that day rode humbly on a donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus is the only One that could do it and therefore by His death and resurrection He accomplished salvation for all who will believe and trust in Him.

You?

  1. King Jesus comes to His people.

Apparently the royal family of Sweden can often be seen freely out and about in public. They are often speaking to and being with their people. In this they are unusual as royals who more usually are too lofty to associate with the general public. It is true to say that the Swedish royal family are only a figurehead and therefore they have no authority whatsoever and so they cannot be used as an example of royalty. Kings are rulers and as such they need to keep their authority over the people. Familiarity will only bring problems and so isolation is their way to keep control.

BUT

That is not the way of King Jesus. He is King over all kings, He is Lord over all lords and yet it is He that comes to His people. Not in pomp and ceremony but He was born into poverty. He was not brought up in a palace with servants and wealth. His first nights sleep was in a feeding trough made for cattle. His family home was in the back streets of Nazareth where He was considered to be the illegitimate son of Mary. Jesus Himself reminds us that foxes have their dens and the birds have their nests but the King of kings had nowhere to lay His head. This is our King!

The amazing thing is that the King who created all things, who has ultimate authority over all of creation. Who is the author and sustainer of all life came to us!

Stop and take that in:

HE CAME TO US!

He gave up the comfort of heaven and the direct face to face fellowship with His heavenly Father and with the Spirit of God in order to come to be amongst His people. He came with the set purpose to deal with their desperate problem. That which none of us could do; He did!! He came humbly, to serve and not to be served! He came righteously without sin and as such is our representative before our Holy God. He came to intercede on our behalf and that could only be done by His major work which was to die on the cross.

The King is among us
His Spirit is here
Let's draw near and worship
Let songs fill the air
He looks down upon us
Delight in His face
Enjoying His children's love
Enthralled by our praise
For each child is special
Accepted and loved
A love gift from Jesus
To His Father above
And now He is giving
His gifts to us all
For no one is worthless
And each one is called
The Spirit's anointing
On all flesh comes down
And we shall be channels
For works like His own
We come now believing
Your promise of power
For we are Your people
And this is Your hour
The King is among us
His Spirit is here
Let's draw near and worship
Let songs fill the air
Graham Kendrick


His Steadfast Love Endures For Ever

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!
Let Israel say, ”His steadfast love endures for ever.”
Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.”
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. t is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; n the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LordI cut them off!
I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord )does valiantly!”
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!


Psalm 118



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