The Lamb Who Is King – Palm Sunday
This past Sunday was “Palm Sunday”, a day we remember the first day of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Although the account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is familiar with many, it’s important that we don’t lose the significance of who Jesus is and the powerful nature of his life and ministry.
We read in John 11 of how Jesus, through an audible command, calls a dead man
back to life. And this is something that EVERYONE wants to see.
The raising of Lazarus has undoubtedly stirred up curiosity from people, because they wonder
“IS IT REALLY TRUE” that Jesus could raise the dead?
But along with wide-spread curiosity, there is animosity from the religious leaders. Their pride keeps them from seeing God working in front of them, and drives them to take extreme measures to protect their status, privilege, and power. We read in John 12:10-11 -
10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on
account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The reaction of the chief priests, ought to give us pause, because if Jesus is challenging long-standing benefits that are working against him, what is our reaction? Protection or Submission?
When we read of Jesus entering the City on a donkey (Matt. 21:1-5) this is an OT fulfillment from Zechariah 9:9, which is a messianic prophecy which describes the
entrance of the Messiah riding into God’s City, in order to deliver God’s people.
It wasn’t Jesus trying to be humble. Here is symbolic action intended to make a clear, public
statement: JESUS IS KING.
Jesus both fulfilled the ancient prophecies of the anointed one “The Messiah”, but also defied and redefined all expectations of how the Messiah would exercise power and authority.
Jesus is humble, he is NOT powerless.
Humility and authority are both exercised in Christ. Jesus is more concerned with faithfully using his authority and “power” by NOT gaining or accumulating the benefits of authority and power, rather using them to bless others.
True POWER AND GREATNESS IS a redirection of resources away from myself and toward others. Jesus is described as “humble” and “gentle” not because he was riding a donkey, but because he was riding a donkey to the Cross. If Palm Sunday is a remembrance of the King who arrived with authority, then lying at the heart of Palm Sunday is the repurposing of power and authority
Which makes the Gospel of God all the more compelling and our mission more concrete. Jesus’ demonstration of authority and power on Palm Sunday only support the truth of the Gospel of Christ in Philippians 2
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.