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The Triumphal Entry? Luke 19:28 - 40

March 21, 2021 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 19:28–19:40

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28 And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusalem. 29 And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, in which 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?’ thus shall you speak, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus on it. 36 And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. 37 And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 saying,
            “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 And He answered and said, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

Well, Palm Sunday came a week early for us, but that just gives us a week to meditate on these wonderous events.  

As I've meditated on this passage this week prophecy has filled my thoughts.  Both completed prophecy and yet future prophecy.  Again, we have the distinct advantage of being 2000 years distant from these events plus we have the completed canon of scripture, locked down and in place.

My thoughts go to a favorite hymn.  In 1710 . . . yep, 300 year old music is about my speed . . . in 1710 Isaac Watts penned these scripturally inspired words;

1 Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run,
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

2 To him shall endless prayer be made,
and praises throng to crown his head.
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
with every morning sacrifice.

3 People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.

4 Blessings abound where'er he reigns:
the prisoners leap to loose their chains,
the weary find eternal rest,
and all who suffer want are blest.

5 Let every creature rise and bring
the highest honors to our King,
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud amen.

You might say, how do those words tie in with our passage this morning?  And I'm glad you asked.  The reason my mind went to Watts' hymn is because of Zechariah's prophecy.  Zechariah chapter 9 ties the historic completion of prophecy that we're going to engage this morning together with future prophecy not yet completed.

Why do we believe prophecy?  Because precise events that the prophets saw 550 years before they became literal recorded history are spoken in the same breath with other related events that span thousands of years in between.

If the first event happened exactly as stated, we would be fools to think the uncompleted portion won't be completed with the same exactitude.  Let's look at Zechariah 9 together.    Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi Matthew Mark Luke.  Back up 4 books to Zechariah.

Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi are grouped with the "minor" prophets, being minor only in comparitive size as compared to Isaiah, Jeremiah Ezekiel, Daniel.  They are not minor at all in their messages to us.

Those four prophets at the very end of the Jewish scriptures spoke for God after the Babylonian captivity.  After them, there is a 400+ year silence until God again speaks through His prophet, John the baptizer, who announces the Messiah.

Zechariah 9:9,10   
      9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
            Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
            Behold, your king is coming to you;
            He is just and endowed with salvation,
            Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
            Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

     10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
            And the horse from Jerusalem;
            And the bow of war will be cut off.
            And He will speak peace to the nations;
            And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
            And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Spectacular prophetic truths.  Verse 9 describes our passage in Luke this morning with exact specificity.
⦁    The King is coming
⦁    He is endowed with salvation
⦁    mounted on a donkey . . . but not just any donkey
⦁    a foal, a colt.
⦁    God's people are instructed to rejoice greatly and to shout in trimph

Our passage this morning in Luke's gospel describes this event right down to the conversations between the disciples and the owner of the colt, the foal of the donkey.

In our passage in Luke we are going to witness God's providence, God's omniscience, and God's omnipotence combine to perfectly complete words that were spoken about 550 years before the event.  Verse 9 of Zechariah's prophecy happened exactly as described.  But what about verse 10?

Verse10 is a description of this same person, the Lord, the Messiah of Israel, and it describes Him cutting off events of a war and bringing worldwide peace under His reign and rule.

⦁         10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
⦁                And the horse from Jerusalem;
⦁                And the bow of war will be cut off.
⦁                And He will speak peace to the nations;
⦁                And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
⦁                And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Jesus is going to end the conflagration that we have termed the tribulation.  Cut off means stopped dead.  Ended with finality.  It's the word used in the old testament to describe a persons death.  Finality.

Jesus is going to bring the worlds most spectacular conflagration to a sudden end.  He is going to offer terms of peace to the nations.  And He is going to rule from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth.  Worldwide dominion, rule, and peace.

I believe Isaac Watts probably had this very verse in his mind when he penned the words to his hymn.

1 Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run,
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

Did it happen?  When Jesus got to Jerusalem, did the things prophecied in Zechariah 9:10 happen?  No.

How about verse 9.  Totally happened.  The donkey thing is spectacular enough, but what's really important in verse 9 that's in stark contrast to verse 10 are the words;  He is just and endowed with salvation, That is the theme of vs.9.  Not the donkey.  Not the shouts and exultation.  But Salvation.  Restoration.  Reconciliation for a sinful and removed mankind.

Since the fall in Genesis 3 and the first promise of salvation, in Genesis 3:15 spoken by God to the serpent, Satan, the promise of salvation has been what the world has waited for all through the events of the Patriarchs and the children of Israel.

And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

That was the very first look forward to the Messiah who would bring the final remedy for sin.  All of the law and the prophets look forward to this person and these promises.  Sin must have a final solution before blessing can come.

Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey the foal of a donkey, to conquer and rule??  No, He comes endowed with salvation.  He has come to die for our sins.

But they didn't know that.  Those folks didn't know there was a 2000 year church age, what the apostle Paul terms a "mystery".  A 2000 year parenthesis between verse 9 and verse 10 of Zechariah's prophecy.  Nobody saw that coming.  We have 20-20 hindsight of 20 centurys of church history, and we have completed revelation.

But put yourself in the place of the multitude that has followed Jesus in anticipation of the miracle worker arriving in Jerusalem to crush Rome and set up his kingdom over the entire earth.

This mob is at a fever pitch when they leave Jericho.  He restored sight to 2 blind men.  He brought salvation to a wretched sinning traitor.  He restored Zacheus to Israel.  He is marching headstrong towards a confrontation with the rulers of Israel.  That pot's already boiling, and has been for some time.

He gets to the top of the hill where you crest out and Jerusalem is just a few feet of elevation from coming into view and He stops!  Why did we stop!?  Then the disciples bring Him a foal of a donkey and the lights come on.

Holy smoke, this is Zechariah's prophecy!  Happening before our eyes.  Exactly as Zechariah said.  This is happening!  It's really happening.  This is it!!!

We know something of the fever of political movements, political happenings.  We've all experienced the excitement of politics.  We fool ourselves into thinking life is really going to change for the better . . . or the worse . . . because of a single person.  We've experienced that adrenalin.  Some people never get over that rush.  They spend their entire lives trying to force an agenda that they think will bring in a messianic age of some kind.  Trying to fix Satan's broken world by politics.  A fools errand.  

That's how the world rolled then, and that's still how it rolls now.  And our motivations that drive our political excitements are mostly ignoble.  Selfish.  If this guy is seated, life will get better for ME.  The economy will take off.  Money will be available.  Surplus money that we can buy luxury things with.  Toys and vacations.  Life will be good.

A multitude has followed Jesus and they are at the peak of expectation as they follow Jesus to Jerusalem.  We're right on the cusp of a breakthrough.  This man who performs miracles and creates food from nothing is approaching Jerusalem and we know the status quo is going to change.  We believe for the better.  And these folks are excited about the prospect.  What a King HE would be!

Then they pause at the top of the hill, why did we stop here? and then the donkey shows up.  Holy cow, this is it!  It's happening!  Let's look at our passage;

28 And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusalem.

What things?  The parable about the mina's and the king.  All of the different positive and negative relationships with the king.  How He treats those who love Him and work for His interests, and those who refuse His authority, and those who openly hate the king.  That parable.  If you missed it last week I encourage you to find it on line.

Immediately after those things, the King starts the climb to Jerusalem.  And the King is out in front.  He's leading the charge.  He's going on ahead.

29 And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it here.

Matthew is careful to tell us that both the young colt and it's mother were brought to Jesus for His purpose.  We need to know that this is a foal, a young colt, and the fact that it is still with it's mother solidify's Zachariah's prophecy.  It is exactly as Zachariah has said 550 years earlier.

How does Jesus know exactly where that colt is with the details that He gives to the 2 disciples?  He knows exactly where the colt will be.  He knows that it will be tied up right at the village entrance.  And He knows it's the right colt to fulfil the prophecy.  Was that a lucky guess?  Or is Jesus omniscient?  It gets better;

31 “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ thus shall you speak, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”

He tells them the exact spot and He even tells them what to say if someone asks about why they are taking a colt that they don't own.  The providence of God has arranged every detail.  

The colt and it's mother are tied up at the village gate waiting for the Master's use.  The owners are near by and when they question the disciples they are OK with the answer.  God orchestrated all of it and Jesus carried out Zechariah's prophecy exactly as it was written.

John the apostle's account tells us people had come from both directions.  The locals had come from the surrounding area to join the throng that had been traveling with Jesus.  There is anticipation.  Something BIG is brewing.

John also tells us that not only were the chief priests contemplating the murder of Jesus, but also of Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead.  Need to get rid of both of them so the multitude can get over all of this political nonsense and we can resume business as usual with the people, and the Romans who were actually pretty good about letting the religion carry out it's business.

The leaders of Israel don't want to upset that apple cart.  Anything that happens that causes Rome to step in and intervene upsets the steady cash flow.  From their perspective, we just need to move past this messiah business.  The sooner the better.  

32 And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”

Does anyone see a pattern here?  The words come out of Jesus mouth, and it IS.  Jesus speaks and what He proclaims unfolds before our eyes.  Jesus speaks and the wind and waves cease to roar.  Jesus speaks and disease is replaced with health.  Jesus speaks and the demons flee or are silenced.  Jesus speaks and Lazarus comes forth after 4 days in the tomb.  

Jesus speaks and the necessary donkey and it's owners are in place and the scene unfolds just exactly as it was spoken by Jesus.  We like to say that this is completed prophecy from 550 years before the event . . . but did you ever stop to ponder that Jesus doesn't live in time - space - continuum like we do.  In eternity it could have been that Jesus spoke these events into being and then wrote the prophecy 550 years earlier.  In eternity all of the order of time is displaced.

Does that make your brain hurt?  Mine too.  But we will all experience that timelessness very soon.  This life is 5 minutes long and then we enter into eternity.  With Christ.  In Christ.  Or without Him in torment.  

Jesus speaks and the events are written in this book and it has happened by the words of His mouth.  He spoke the worlds into existence.  A donkey or two and it's owners are a tiny matter by comparison.  

The right donkey, the right foal, the right owners, the right disciples, the right prophet stating the right thing and it all comes together just as naturally as if it were somehow part of a gigantic plan.  It is.  That's called the Providence of God.  He causes history to unfold exactly according to His plan according to His will.  

Do you understand that if the donkey hadn't been tied up when the disciples got to it, you could throw your Bibles away.  If any detail had been different than how it came out of His mouth, you could junk your Bible.  Jesus speaks, and it happens.  Every time.

            Behold, your king is coming to you;
            He is just and endowed with salvation,
            Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
            Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Kings normally come with pomp and splendour mounted on a white horse of victory showing off their power and majesty and authority over all others.

This king comes in humility.  His mode of transportation is as low as transportation can get.  A tiny donkey of little value.  But the key thing in that prophecy isn't the attitude of his arrival.  It is what He brings.

This king is a servant who brings to His subjects something of eternal value.  Salvation is that which can purchase every man, every subject, every person out of the slavery of sin and of Satan, to belong to His Father, God Almighty.

The crowd is hyped and psyched about the physical well being this king will bring.  The prophet says it is a spiritual well being that He is endowed with.  He doesn't bring physical prosperity, he brings forgiveness for sins.  Freedom from the captivity of sin.  A righteous standing with God.  He is endowed with salvation.

The donkey is humility.  This coronation as king is the most humble coronation ever.  No oil.  No nothing.  A donkey and a bunch of peasants making a big hubub about a man who works miracles that they want to be king.  A forced coronation of a King that the nation doesn't want.

Let me show you His real coronation.  It happens in heaven, not on earth.  This is the coronation of the King of kings, and bear in mind that the book that is spoken of with the seven seals is the title deed of the whole earth. Not just Israel and Jerusalem, all of the nations will belong to Him.

Rev. 5: 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look into it. 4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
            “ Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
     10 “ And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
     11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
            “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
            “ To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

That scroll, sealed seven times, is the title deed to the earth.  The whole earth.  And as it is unrolled and those seals are broken during the re-taking of this earth from Satan, well, you can read about that in the rest of the book of Revelation.  It gets messy.  Very messy.  If you're laying awake nights worried about glabal warming and what's happening to this earth, stop it.  Open this book and read what Jesus is going to do to it when He returns as King.

OK, that's the real coronation, let's take a moment to see the King arrive . . . the second time.  He isn't humble or gentle and lowly when He comes to depose Satan and eliminate all evil and all enemies.  Revelation 19:

11 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite 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. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The world wants the Palm Sunday Jesus.  Meek and lowly, riding on a donkey's colt.  They want the manageable Jesus for what they can get from Him.  They don't want the “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The world wants the Zechariah 9:9 Jesus.  They don't want the Zechariah 9:10 Jesus.  Let's finish looking at our passage this morning;

35 And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus on it. 36 And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. 37 And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen,

The miracles are the driving force here.  They've been trying to make Jesus king ever since He created food for the 5000 in John chapter 6.  He has evaded that.  Until now.  In God's perfect timing, the time has arrived, not for Jesus to be king on this worlds terms.  They wanted a social state.  Jesus feeds us.  Jesus makes us well when we're sick.  Jesus has power to annihilate the Romans.  Jesus can make Israel Great Again.

They wouldn't consider Jesus for 10 seconds flat, except He performs miracles.  How interesting that the next messiah that comes to save the world is going to capture the peoples minds and hearts and desires by . . . miracles.

The anti-christ does miracles.  Rev. 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

So we have the humble entry into Jerusalem of Jesus.  Lowly and humble, riding on the colt of a donkey.  And we have a multitude of excited people who have all kinds of political aspirations based in Jesus miraculous power.

There really is pathos in this scene.  People hopeful for all the wrong reasons, wanting a physical kingdom in Satan's world with a King who can do miracles.  But Jesus has come to die.  They're frenzied putting garments in His path, welcoming the Messiah who will give them stuff.

He's riding to His death, on a donkey, with people who don't understand what's about to happen.  But all of it is written in the book 550 years earlier and the drama unfolds exactly as Zechariah wrote it.

38 saying, “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Those words have been scripted for generations.  They have been taught for centuries that this is what you will say, in worship, when Messiah arrives.  The frenzied crowd is worshipping the Messiah of their hopes and dreams.

39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

We have this dichotomy here at this scene and it's still with us.  The ignorant masses who get all whipped up in a political fury.  And posited against those folks are the literati.  The elite's who know better.  The learned ones.  The uber-religious elites who are educated far beyond the foolishness of the ordinary unwashed masses.  The pharisees.

The pharisee's are rebuking Jesus for letting His ignorant followers get out of control.  The ignorant well meaning masses are blaspheming God by chanting worshipful words that only the Messiah deserves to have said in his presence.

The pharisees tell Jesus He needs to control His disciples who they believe are speaking blasphemous things.  Contagious blasphemy.  If you let them keep saying what they're saying, you're a party to the blasphemy.  We expected better of you Jesus.  You need to rebuke your followers.  They're out of control.

And you know what.  Unbeknownst to the pharisees, Jesus has the power to do that.  He could have silenced every single mouth that was shouting worshipful praise to God.  He could have struck every mouth there mute.  He could have silenced every mouth as easily as He silenced the wind and the waves.  He silenced the demons when they were shouting what the disciples are shouting now.

He tells the pharisees why that isn't going to be an option that He will undertake.

40 And He answered and said, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

This is God's sovereignly orchestrated moment that all history has waited for.  We'll speak more on the importance of what is happening with regard to completed prophecy next week.

The entire plan of God is unfolding at this moment in God's time, according to God's infinite sovereign will, as prophesied, and the very thought of silencing these worshippers is right out of the pit of hell.  

Hell wants this activity stopped.  Hell wants these worshippers to stop.  Tell your disciples to stop, Jesus.  And Jesus tells them that if these worshippers were silenced some how, the stones would cry out.  In this moment, in the sovereign plan of God, there will be worship.  If the people were silent, the stones would cry out!  

My mind always goes to John the baptizer who warned these same men 3 years earlier at the Jordan river.  Bring forth fruit in accordance with repentence and don't bother telling me that you are Abraham's children, because God is able to raise up children of Abraham from these stones.

Worship for the humble entrance of the King of creation is according to the will and the plan of God.  If these ceased, the stones would shout worship to this King.  That would present no problem to the God who created men from the dust.

The scene is bizarre and complex.  We have the true followers who don't yet fully understand what is about to happen, but who love Jesus with their full being and would follow Him anywhere.

And we have the nation of Israel, divided amongst themselves even like our nation is now.  A large mob who want to force Jesus, the miracle worker who creates food and has the best medical plan anyone has ever seen to be king.  These folks hate Rome and believe this man who does miracles can also somehow conquer Rome and make Israel a sovereign nation again.

Then we have the elite's who are in power who don't want to lose their lofty positions of control to some uprising.  They don't want Rome to have to get involved in this matter.  They want to eliminate Jesus.  They tell the people He does miracles with a satanic source as His power.

It's quite a drama.  Next week we'll look at what Jesus thinks about what is happening in this moment, and we'll look at how prophecy described this exact moment in the book of Daniel.  That's how we'll celebrate Palm Sunday.

Who are you in this mob?  Are you in this for what you think Jesus can give you?  Jesus will make my life good here and now?  Are you like the pharisees who are saying, this is getting out of control and you guys need to 'shut up!'  Are you like the real disciples that don't fully understand but are "all in" no matter what happens.  Blind faith in Jesus the Messiah, no matter what happens.  I hope that's who we are.

We've got a lot of people in Evangelicalism right now saying, you guys need to just shut up.  Go along to get along.  Religious folks.  Interesting times.