March 25, 2018
Tribe Recap of Palm Sunday, March 11, 2018 | Luke 19:28-44
On Palm Sunday, Jesus left the home of his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (John 12:1-2) and marched up the eastern side of the Mount of Olives as he made his way to Jerusalem. Towards the top of the hill he reached a village called Bethpage where he instructed his disciples to bring a donkey’s colt. Jesus was at the city limits of Jerusalem and he was getting ready to make a stunning announcement to the world.
Placed on a young donkey, he began riding down the western side of the mount with the Kidron Valley and all of Jerusalem coming into view. To the disciples of Jesus, everything clicked, everything they were hoping for came into perfect focus.
Jesus was making the same trip King Solomon had made hundreds of years ago on his way to be crowned as king after his father David (I Kings 1:32-35). Jesus was entering Jerusalem in such a way that said, “I am the King of the Jews, and I am coming to take my rightful place on the throne.”
The people were ecstatic as they shouted praise from Psalm 118: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” This was the moment when Jewish prestige among the nations would be restored and Roman oppression would be thrown off. So they laid down their coats before him (2 Kings 9:13) and waved palm branches, a symbol of freedom and Jewish nationalism.
The problem was that Jesus did not come to earth to set up an earthy kingdom as the Jews were hoping; he came to announce that the King of Heaven had invaded earth to lay down his life to save her inhabitants from the future of death they all deserved (I Timothy 1:15). A king who lays down his life is not normal or expected, so the excitement of the crowd quickly faded away as they saw Jesus’ end. The ways of Heaven are not like the ways of earth.
The ways of earth rest mostly on the kingdoms of religion and politics. The Jewish leaders wanted position and place on the moral high ground while the Roman officials wanted power and praise. It was fear of the people that lead Pilate to pass the death sentence. Both of these kingdoms have foundations rooted in the reverence and opinion of man. The Kingdom of Heaven on the other hand does not bow to these pressures and simply obeys out of adoration to the Father and his son Jesus, The King.
Jesus didn’t come to secure the beginnings of a new religion, or to gain approval from the crowds, he came to instill the Kingdom of Heaven into the hearts of man so that men might glorify their Father in Heaven through an abundant life in Jesus.
When you enter a place, which kingdom is it that enters with you? The kingdom of gaining the moral high ground? The kingdom of having power or popularity? Or does the King of Heaven enter with you, establishing heaven wherever you go? Those who are citizens of heaven are unexpected – not normal.
King Jesus was a foot washer, a captive freer, and a proclaimer of the good news. He was full of life, mercy and laughter. Like him, we can demonstrate and establish the Kingdom of Heaven by serving and loving others, proclaiming the good news that inviting Jesus to be King of the human soul means an end to death and despair.
With whatever days we have, let us serve as the King would serve, that our lives may give the full weight of glory befitting to The King. When we see him enter again, he will be riding down a cloud of lightning on a white horse, and all that creation hopes for will come into perfect focus.