Each of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – allocate approximately 1/3rd of their biographies to the final week of Jesus’ life. It’s as if everything shifts into slow motion, every definitive moment captured, each dialogue carefully conveyed, every detail meticulously preserved.
Because this is the week that changed all of history! The gospel writers want us to see it, feel it, experience it, and attend to it. So, in this sermon we’re going to walk with Jesus through this final week that changed history.
The author of this passage wants us to be struck by how it sets up and previews what is about to unfold in this final week of Jesus’ life. There are little hints of what is to come, thematic seeds planted here that will grow to fruition as the week develops, a revelation of who this Jesus truly is, and the storm he will face that is brewing on the horizon.
In the Triumphal Entry, Jesus is revealed to be three things that foreshadow what is to come throughout the rest of Holy Week:
- Sovereign Lord: Jesus rides into Jerusalem as the Sovereign of Creation and the Lord of History. Jesus is going into Holy Week with His eyes wide open. As the divine Son of God, He has foresight, not only into the generalities of what will take place, but also the particulars as well: the details of where to find the colt, that he will be spit upon, and the exact timetable of his resurrection. He knows everything that awaits him: the suffering, the agony, the rejection, the humiliation, the shame, and the death. And yet He rides on, boldly, courageously, and resolutely.
- Blessed King: Jesus rides into Jerusalem as the Anointed King and the Humble Messiah. Everything in this scene is dripping with Messianic Hope: the descent from the Mount of Olives associated with the King’s coming; the mighty works of God that had occurred in their midst, like healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead; and the waiving of Palm branches. These are all details associated with the return of the king and the coming of the kingdom.
- Rejected Savior: Jesus rides into Jerusalem as the Rejected Savior and the Suffering Servant. As the multitudes worship Jesus as King and Messiah, some of the Pharisees take offense. And we see the seeds of the rejection that Jesus will face at the hands of the religious leaders in the week to come. It’s a foreshadowing of the King’s Cross. What began with joyous fanfare and praise and excitement on Sunday…will end in brutal rejection and betrayal and hostility on Friday. A donkey now bears him as king, but soon the king will bear a cross. He will be the Rejected Savior.
- Jesus chose this week for you.
- Jesus is a king worth following
- Is Jesus your King?