Palm Sunday 2021-Jesus, Our King-03/28/21

Jesus, Our King!

Message: ‘Our PROMISED King’                           Text: Various

Introduction: Pastor Craig Condon writes the following: A minister and his wife were on their way home on a Sunday evening. He was tired because he preached five times that day. His wife asked a question to which he answered in anger. Immediately he felt conviction and apologized to his wife. He said, “Forgive me. I’m quite tired. I’ve preached five times today. His wife replied, “Yes, Dear, I know, but remember, I’ve had to listen to you five times today.”

This is the 25th Palm Sunday message I’ve preached here at CBC. But then again, that means for many of you, it’s the 25th Palm Sunday message you had to listen to. So I begin this message with ‘Grace be with you…’

ILL: Ok, I’m from the Philadelphia area, and we were taught about William Penn who was the  founder of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PP: This is what he looked like. PP: And NO he’s not the guy on the Quaker Oats box. But, he is the guy on top of city hall in Philadelphia.

Pastor Horace Wimpy tells the following true story about William Penn who was well liked by the local Native Americans.

Once they told him he could have as much of their land as he could encompass on foot in a single day. So, early the next morning he started out and walked until late that night. When he finally went to claim his land, the Indians were greatly surprised, for they really didn’t think he would take them seriously. But they kept their promise and gave him a large area, which today is part of the city of Philadelphia. William Penn simply believed what they said. (end quote)

PP: Promises. We make them all the time… and we break them all the time. At one time, a person’s word meant something, it could be trusted.

  • Contracts and agreements were once made just on a promise and a handshake.
  • As children we make ‘pinky promises’ and would often seal our promises with ‘Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.’ Later we learned to ‘cross our finger behind our back because we knew we’d be breaking that promise.
  • It goes w/o saying, that politicians make campaign promises… they never intend to keep, in order to get our vote.
  • TV advertising and sales people make all kinds of promises to get us to buy their products and services. What they don’t tell you about is ‘planned obsolesce.’ Do yourself a favor… look it up.

Here’s the sad truth. When it comes to other people, no matter who that person is, there’s no guarantee they’ll keep a promise they made to you.

  • But, when it comes to God, He keeps His promises.

PP: Next Slide

While the government and banks promise to keep our money secure by the full faith and credit of the United States…

  • The promises God makes to us are backed by the One who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

Speaking of God, the Apostle Paul writes: PP: If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)  For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. (2 Corinthians 1:20a)

This morning we’ll look at God’s promise to send a King. That king is not an earthy king like the nations have, but Jesus, our God and King.

And we’ll see that God has kept His promise…

Transition: Open your Bibles to Micah 5:2.

  1. Micah 5:2, 4-5a; Zech 9:9 The promise

PP: (2 slides)  But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me one Who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth. And He shall be their peace.

If you were to study the prophesies/promises of God, concerning the Jesus’ first coming, you would find that there were over 300 promises that God kept. I’d like to look at 2 of those promises, Micah 2 and Zechariah 9.

PP: 700 years before the birth of Jesus, God, speaking through the prophet Micah, promised Israel’s Messiah, their King, would be born in the small and relatively insignificant town of Bethlehem.

  • BTW, Bethlehem was also where Israel’s greatest king, David, was born. We’ll see the relevance of that later.

Micah also tells us the purpose behind this wonderful promise… from you shall come forth for Me one Who is to be ruler in Israel.

He was talking about a king, but not like David or any other Jewish king, this King… was unique. His coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

  • This speaks specifically to Jesus’ divinity, to His eternal existence… to being God

Micah also tells us what kind of King Jesus will be. PP: And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord.

As King, Jesus will shepherd, care for His flock. That’s something King David wrote about Jesus in Psalm 23.

  • The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

King Jesus will care for His sheep, His people, as a God/King.

And He shall stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. King Jesus will rule with the power and the glory of Almighty God.

  • Which is why God can promise And they shall dwell secure, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth. And He shall be their peace.

No other king could promise that… and keep it. Only our Promised King, Jesus.

Our second text sheds some additional light on our Promised King. PP: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech 9:9)

Zechariah, speaking for God, gives us a very specific promise… He will enter Jerusalem… on a donkey.

 PP: To the Israelite at the time of the first Palm Sunday, this would have clearly been the fulfillment of God’s promise to send the Messiah, Israel’s King. This was so specific, it would not have been missed.

And, that when Israel’s King enters Jerusalem on a donkey, everyone will be rejoicing, shouting, praising God for their King. Again not just any king, Israel’s promised King.

And He would not be like other kings who treated God’s people harshly, this promised King, will be humble… He will serve God’s people. PP: Next Slide

What we see in both Micah and Zechariah, is that God wants us to look forward to God keeping His promise to send King Jesus to rule over, care and provide for His people.

Yes, God knows the difficulties we face, He knows our hardships, He knows our weaknesses.

  • But when our Promised King, Jesus, rules in our hearts and over our lives,
  • we’ll experience shalom; peace, a wholeness of life that’s impossible w/o Him.

Transition: Jesus, is our promised King. And according to Matthew 2:1-12, he was recognized as King.

  1. Matthew 2:1-11 His recognition

PP: (5 slides) Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:1–11)

So, I bet all of you at CBC thought I would never teach on this passage.

  • You know one of my pet peeves is seeing 3 wise men, 3 kings, (whatever you call them) kneeling around the manger in Bethlehem.

That never happened. But let’s look at what did happen.

  • These wise men traveled to Israel to met the Promised King and to recognize Him as the King that He is.

You’re all familiar with the story, so I’ll skip to the relevant parts.

PP: wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”

Two things here:

First, they referred to Jesus as being born, not made, King of the Jews.

  • He wouldn’t be made king by the religious leader. He wouldn’t be appointed King by the Romans.
  • It was God’s plan, God’s will, the fulfillment of God’s promise, that Jesus would be Israel’s King.

Second, notice that not only did they seek Jesus out, not only did they recognize Him as Israel’s King, they came for a purpose… to worship Israel’s promised King.

  • Israel’s human kings were not to be worshipped, but this King, Israel’s promised King, was meant to be worshipped.

Remember, Jewish Law stated that only God is to be worshipped. The wise men were showing that Jesus.. was God.

Note that the religious leaders themselves, knew to look to God’s Word to see His promise to send Israel’s King and where He would be born. PP:

They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “ ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.’

Herod tells them to go to Bethlehem to find Israel’s promises King. They left and continued their journey which ended in the home of Joseph and Mary.

PP: And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him.

Sidebar: Where did the wise men find Jesus? Was it in the manger? No… Just saying.

What did they do when they saw Jesus? They fell down, showing the honor due a king. And they worshipped Him…

  • as Israel’s promised King,
  • as God in the flesh.

These wise men recognized, declared, showed that Jesus was Israel’s promised King, but they also did it by the gifts that they gave Him.

PP: Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Sidebar: PP: OK… the text doesn’t say they were kings, the text doesn’t say there were 3 of them, the text doesn’t say they came to the manger in Bethlehem.

But, it does say they came to a house and it says they gave Jesus very specific gifts, all three gifts were fit for a king.

PP: Next Slide Gold, frankincense and myrrh were traditional gifts given by one king to kings in another countries. (Mark van Cuylenburg)

  • Gold, was a symbol of kingship.
  • Frankincense was used as incense, a pleasing aroma for the king’s palace.
  • Myrrh, was extremely expensive and rare oil used for anointing kings.

God promised to send a King to rule over Israel. He kept that promise with Jesus.

  1. Matt 21:1-9; Mark 11:9-10 His worship

PP: (3 slides) 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. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 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!”

Once again, we come to a very familiar passage of Scripture. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Again, I won’t be addressing all of it, just the relevant parts.

Jesus tells 2 of His disciples to go into the village and get a donkey for Him to ride into Jerusalem.

And everything goes just as Jesus said it would. Why?

  • Because it’s exactly what God promised.
  • Even the Gospel writer Matthew recognizes it’s God keeping His promise in Zech 9:9.

OK, they bring Jesus the donkey and He gets on it. Now, remember that up to this point, Jesus had hidden, or at the very least, downplayed His Kingship.

By riding a donkey into Jerusalem, Jesus was declaring that He was Israel’s promised King, according to Zechariah PP: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zech 9:9)

The people in the crowd also realized what was happening and it’s why they did what they did… PP: Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

This was an ancient form of ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for royalty.

PP: We do the same thing for our ‘celebrity’ royalty … can anyone say ‘award shows’?

Finally, the crowd gets very specific in it’s praise and honor of Jesus, Israel’s King… They connect Him with Israel’s most beloved King, David. Causing the praise and honor to turn into worship.

PP: 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!”

 In Mark 11:9-10 we find this added information:

PP: And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

Mark tells us that their worship became very specific, not only did they worship Jesus as their promised King, they asked that He would bring the promised kingdom of David.

  • Only God could do that. They were worshipping Jesus… as God Himself.

Which is why the Pharisees and religious leaders tell Jesus to ask His followers to stop, to silence their worship.

  • They knew the people were worshipping Jesus, as not only their promised King, but as God.

Jesus says no. His time had come to be revealed, and worshipped, as the fulfillment to God’s promise.

  • Can I ask? Is Jesus, your promised King?
  1. Revelation 1:5bff His return

PP: …Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of kings on earth. Behold, He is coming with the clouds… Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty.”

Friends, Jesus Himself has promised that He will return one day in the future.

  • He declares that as promised King, He’s the Ruler of all other kings on the earth.
  • He declares his deity when He calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, that He is eternal.

 And in Revelation 7:9-12 we see the response by His people in that future event, to His wonderful declarations. Not surprisingly it will be very much the same as it was that very first Palm Sunday:

PP: (two slides) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9–12)

Do you see it? God wants us to be assured, to be certain, that He keeps His promises.

  • Just as God said He would send our Promised King in Micha and Zechariah and we saw in Matthew and Mark, that He kept that promise that first Palm Sunday.
  • Here in Revelation, God is making another promise that Jesus will return, to come back for those who are Him. And He’s promising it’ll look a lot like that first Palm Sunday.

Conclusion: PP: Jesus is our promised King. And listen, that means as much to us today and it did those who experience Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday.

Jesus is our promised King. Because He’s promised to come back for us, for all of those who have placed their faith in Him, for the forgiveness of their sin.

That first Palm Sunday, there was time, there was the opportunity for those who had previously not believed in Jesus, who had not asked Him to forgive their sin, to still become part of God’s family by trusting Jesus and Jesus alone for forgiveness and entrance into Heaven.

Jesus is our promised King, He’s coming again. There is still time for you to participate in the future celebration in Heaven when He does return. But, you need to seeks God’s forgiveness,

  • by placing all your hope, faith and trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross by dying for your sin.

The Apostle Paul warns us: PP:  In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

If you remember the writer of the book of Hebrews pleads with us to do that … today, while there is still a today.

  • You see, Jesus is coming back, and we don’t know when that will be.

PP: And for those who are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, listen:  Jesus in no longer hiding or deemphasizing His deity, His Kingship, His authority, His rule.

  • And like in that first Palm Sunday, He’s expecting our worship..
  • our ongoing worship due to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

There’s a lot going on in our lives today, that seeks to hinder or even stop our worship of Jesus.

  • Don’t let it… even if it’s a coworker, a close friend, someone from school, a neighbor, politicians or even someone in your family.

Jesus is worthy of our praise our worship, not just on religious holidays like Palm Sunday, Easter and Christmas… not only on Sundays… but every day. Friends:

  • This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Worship Jesus, our promised King.