Jesus enters Jerusalem

Published 10:55 am Friday, April 15, 2011

Scripture: Mark 11:1-11

Aim: To present Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem before His crucifixion.

Golden Text: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9b-10).

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Jesus had entered Jerusalem many times in the years of His life. At the age of 12 He had confounded the leaders of the Jews in a temple interview. He was in Jerusalem many times as He grew from childhood to adulthood.

After the beginning of His ministry among men, He was a high-profile figure in the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding towns.

At the death of John the Baptist, Jesus moved from Judea to Galilee where the people and leaders were more lenient because of the influence of the Greek culture in that area. In Galilee Jesus spent about two and a half years ministering to the Jews of the area. He made trips to the temple on feast days according to Jewish requirements.

For about the last four months of His life, He was in and around Judea and Peraea (across the Jordan River from Jericho). With the last week of His earthly life remaining, He made a triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, offering Himself as the Messiah of Israel. Only a small group acknowledged His Messiah-ship and many of them turned away from Him during the last week of His ministry before He was crucified.

I. Jesus commanded two disciples to bring a donkey for Him to ride at His entrance into Jerusalem (Mark. 11:1-2). Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. They had traveled as far a Bethany (the home of Lazarus). Here Jesus sent two of His disciples to a nearby village with instructions to find a donkey that they were to bring to Jesus. Just as Jesus told them, they found the donkey that had never been ridden.

2. Jesus conditioned the event in order that He may have a donkey upon which to fulfill divine prophecy concerning Messiah (vs. 3-7). The two found the donkey and, as the Lord bade them do, they told the owner that the Master had need of the animal (vs. 4-5). The owner readily released the donkey to be taken to Jesus (vs. 6). They brought the donkey to Jesus (vs. 7).

3. Jesus presented Himself to the people of Jerusalem as their Messiah (vs. 7-11). First, the disciples put their garments on the donkey’s back (some trick for an unbroken donkey!).

Second, Jesus sat upon the donkey for a ride into Jerusalem (vs. 7). This was the kind of procession a king would make when he entered his rule.

Third, the people spread garments and tree branches in the way before the donkey and Jesus (vs. 8). Now, that is quite an event. An unbroken donkey with clothes on his back, with a Man riding on him, and people waving and throwing clothes and branches while yelling praises to God that Messiah had arrived! Under normal circumstances no wild donkey is going to stand for such things! What made the difference? The One who had made and controls the donkey is the One on the donkey’s back. No wonder the donkey obeyed Jesus! We humans would do well to take a lesson from that dumb (?) beast!

It is interesting to note that the brute creation acknowledges their Creator-God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Would it not be the better part of digression for man to be as faithful to his Creator as the animals are?

Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah, the King of Israel. He was rejected and preparations were made to “destroy” Him on a cross! Poor, ignorant, sinful, prideful man! And he thinks he can be his own “king” much to contrary truth. Jesus Christ is God and men are responsible to Him. It is not the other way round. Each of us will face Jesus the Judge of all men!