Sunday, March 28, 2010

His Story: The Triumphal Entry - March 28, 2010

Isaiah 62:11 (New International Reader's Version)
11 The Lord has announced a message
from one end of the earth to the other.
He has said, "Tell the people of Zion,
'Look! Your Savior is coming!
He is bringing his people back as his reward.
He has won the battle over their enemies.' "

Zechariah 9:9 (New International Reader's Version)
9 "City of Zion, be full of joy!
People of Jerusalem, shout!
See, your king comes to you.
He always does what is right.
He has the power to save.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is sitting on a donkey's colt.

Matthew 21:1-9 (New International Version)
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."
4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

If you grew up in a traditional church as a kid, you probably celebrated this Sunday, Palm Sunday, reading this story and passing out palm branches as a reminder of the event. But did you really have an idea of what the event truly meant? Did you know that this event marked the fulfillment of several prophecies that were several hundred years old, and in fact it fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 9:25-26 to the very day.

Many historical texts tell us that in biblical times, the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey. The donkey was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph. In the verses found in Matthew, clearly the people were proclaiming that Jesus was the hoped for Messiah, because they called him the Son of David.

Today we are approaching a very important time in the biblical story of Jesus in his walk to the cross. This week has been highlighted for us, because it is the culmination of Jesus Crist's ministry, the culmination of why he came to earth. For us it is where we need to make a clear choice of what are we going to do with Jesus in our personal lives.

Is he just another great teacher and prophet of God that calls us to be good? Or is he God in the flesh, participant in creation, King of the universe, our Savior, Lord and Redeemer? Is he who he claimed to be? Do we believe that he alone can save us from the ugliness of our sinful lives, who renews us and marks us as his for eternity? Have you called on his name to be your Lord and Savior and surrendered your life in service to him? If you have not done so, it is time to make that decision. Where you spend eternity depends on it.

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