Friday, March 30, 2012
Today’s Topic: The Real Triumphal Entry
Today’s Text: Isaiah 62:11 (NIV) The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’”
There’s a stir in the crowd. Respect for those who are praying keeps people silent for a while, but the news is too important so whispering begins. As more and more people hear the news vocal chords are activated, and soon, almost sacrilegiously, shouting begins. The decorum of the Temple is no longer considered, because news that the Messiah is coming has spread throughout the crowd. There can be no restraint of such enthusiasm.
In their hearts, the people expected this to be the day for which they have prayed throughout the centuries. Since the days of King David they have had a unified hope of national redemption under the reign of God’s chosen King. Finally, or so they thought, that day had arrived.
They rushed to the outskirts of the city to verify the route the Messiah was taking. Along the way they stopped to collect palm branches which they would use honor the arriving King. No King should have to walk on a dusty road. As they walked they began a mental review of the Scriptures they knew so well concerning the Messiah. Quickly the joy of the moment overwhelmed them and they began speaking the words out loud.
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Then suddenly, up ahead, they see another crowd of people coming towards them. They are already shouting the same words. Their voices begin to amplify and the surrounding countryside is filled with the stereophonic sounds of praise.
As they draw closer their pitch has been raised to fevered proportions. They began laying down their branches, and when they didn’t sufficiently cover the road they took off their cloaks and laid them down as well. As the newly proclaimed King passed by they joined in the procession with shouts of joy to the One who would finally set them free.
As they walked, no one really noticed that the King wasn’t riding a great white horse fit for such royalty. Instead, He was on a donkey, and the foal of that donkey. If only they would have asked the King for an explanation, they may have had the eyes of their spiritual understanding opened. But as it was, their thinking was dominated by their desire for personal and national prosperity. They were not thinking about their spiritual needs, and had interpreted all of the prophet’s words about the Messiah in light of a political agenda.
In the days ahead it would be revealed to them that the Messiah they thought would deliver them from Rome’s bondage had a different purpose in in heart. They would reject their King and put Him to death as an imposter. They had totally missed the point of the Son of God’s entrance into the human race and His entrance into Jerusalem. He was and still is primarily concerned with the redemption of people, not nations. That is why He was there, and that is why He died. When He enters the heart of a sinner and saves him by His grace He has made the real triumphal entry.
Someday the world will see another triumphal entry. Those of us who have already had Him march into our lives as King of Kings and Lord of Lords will be with Him when He returns to this earth to establish the physical Kingdom promised by the Father. For those who reject Him as King today it will be a horrifying day of eternal judgment.
The tables will be turned from His first entry. The people of earth will not be shouting “Hosanna”, but rather “Help!” We who are with Him will be the ones shouting “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.” The people of earth will not put Him to death, but He will sentence them to eternal death. The people who have rejected Him will not enjoy the rewards of the King in His kingdom, but will be separated from His presence forever.
We who are His, who understand the purpose of His first triumphal entry, and have experienced the real triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into our hearts, will reign with Him in glory forever and ever! Amen!