Jesus The King
By Steph Nickel
The people were eager to crown Jesus the king, so that he might deliver them from Roman rule. What they didn’t realize, is that God had a much greater plan. Jesus wasn’t meant establish an kingdom here on earth- He came to establish a heavenly kingdom that would last for all of eternity.
The King’s Arrival
Today let’s consider excerpts from Matthew 21:1-9:
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.’ . . . The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’“
Think for a minute about a royal processional. Crowds lining the streets, eager to catch a glimpse of the king or queen, prince or princess. Security personnel making sure everything is as it should be. Well-trained horses. Luxury vehicles. Smiling faces. Dignified hand-waving.
Sure there were similarities when Jesus entered Jerusalem so long ago. The crowds were eager to catch a glimpse of this man who had healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead.Perhaps they were even hoping to witness a miracle.
Hosanna to the Son of David
And they were certainly hoping He would take His place as their ruler, their king. Remember, they were looking for a leader who would overthrow the oppressive Roman government. They didn’t yet understand what He had come to accomplish, something infinitely greater than military victory.
Did they honour Him? Yes, they did. The crowd placed their cloaks and branches on the road in welcome Him. They declared, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
No one seemed to notice that their king was arriving not on a noble white horse but on a young donkey, not a very royal form of transportation. They were focussed on the moment. They were caught up in the excitement that comes from being part of a crowd gathered for a single purpose. They wanted to see this One who came in the name of the Lord.
God preserved this story for us down through the ages. In fact, in many of our churches, we celebrate what we call Palm Sunday and distribute palm branches for our children to wave to help them remember the story of the triumphal entry. These are good things.
But we also know that the story doesn’t end there. Jesus didn’t overthrow the government and appoint His disciples to position of authority.
Instead, a short time after all this took place, He was arrested on trumped up charges. He was interrogated and beaten. Instead of declaring His praises, the crowds now cried, “Crucify Him.” He was handed over to be put to death although there was no legal reason to do so. He was humiliated and mocked. He was killed in one of the most horrific ways ever devised. And He was laid in a tomb.
A Kingdom For Eternity
But thankfully, that’s not the end of the story either.You see, God never lost control of the situation. It was all part of His plan. Sin had to be punished. The price had to be paid. And it was . . . by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.The kingdom He came to establish was a kingdom that would last for all eternity. Only the Sinless One could accomplish this—and only by His death and resurrection.
If you acknowledge the fact that you are a sinner, that you can’t live up to God’s righteous requirements through any effort of your own . . . If you acknowledge that Jesus paid the price for your sins and rose victorious . . . if you surrender your life to him . . . then you will catch a glimpse of God’s kingdom and you can rest assured that you will live in that kingdom forever.
There will be mountaintop experiences in your walk with God. There will also be valleys. But He will always be right there by your side. We need no longer be members of the crowd who praise Him one day and cry out for His crucifixion the next.
While we teach our children the stories of the Bible, we must remember that they hear many stories. It can be hard for them to differentiate between what is real—what is true—and what is not. We must share these stories time and time again. And we must ask God for the grace to live in such a way that our children see that we believe the Scriptures 100 percent.
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Images courtesy of:
Entry of Christ into Jerusalem- Pietro Lorenzetti
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