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Triumpful Exit

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TRIUMPFUL EXIT

INTRO:

2000 years ago, the Sadducees had a tradition.  They believed the Messiah would show up four days before Passover.

because of this tradition, they kept the gates of the Temple open so that Messiah could walk right in and take His rightful place.

During this time,

Jewish nationalistic fervor would reach a peak.

When the Passover celebration was going on, the Romans would have all their troops activated and on alert.

The reason was, they feared that the Jews might try launching a revolt under some religiously crazed radical Jew.

This had happened in the past and so tensions could easily

run high on a day like this.

And then; here comes Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

He was Fulfilling the prophecy of Zech 9:9 (NIV).

THE ROMANS DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

ACTUALLY THE JEWS DIDN'T REALIZE WHAT WAS HAPPENING EITHER.

I.                  POINT #1 TODAY IS PROPHESY WAS FULFILLED

THIS WAS JESUS’ FIRST COMING

THE VERSE IN ZECHARIAH 9:9 IS ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE VERSES IN THE WHOLE BIBLE.

WRITTEN CENTURIES BEFORE JESUS WAS EVEN BORN.

Zechariah 9:9 (NIV)
The Coming of Zion’s King

9     Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!

Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,

righteous and having salvation,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

IT'S NOT UNCOMMON TO HEAR A MESSAGE FROM THIS PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE ON PALM SUNDAY

AND TODAY IS GONNA BE NO EXCEPTION BECAUSE

THAT’S EXACTLY WHERE I'M PREACHING FROM TODAY.

ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING THINGS ABOUT THE BIBLE IS THAT WE’RE ABLE TO SEE WHERE GOD HAS PROPHESIED SOMETHING THAT’S GONNA TO HAPPEN

AND THEN TURN A FEW PAGES AND SEE WHERE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE PROPHETIC EVENTS, AND WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT IT TODAY

WE JUST READ THE PROPHESY IN ZECHARIAH 9:9 ABOUT THE MESSIAH COMING TO THE TEMPLE.

THE ZECHARIAH  PASSAGE ACTUALLY CONTINUES ON FOR SEVERAL MORE VERSES.

IT TALKS ABOUT A SUFFERING REDEEMING MESSIAH THAT COMES IN PEACE.

AND IT ALSO TALKS ABOUT A CONQUERING WARRIOR MESSIAH THAT IS COMING TO CONQUER ALL OF ISRAELS ENEMIES.

HE’S GOING TO RULE THE WORLD AND JERUSALEM WILL BE THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING.

----------------------------  FORSHORTENING  ------------------------

ONE OF THE CONFUSING THINGS THAT WE SOMETIMES ENCOUNTER IN PROPHESY IS THE EFFECT OF FORSHORTENING.

THIS PHENOMENA HAPPENS WHEN THE PROPHESY LOOKS DOWN THROUGH THE CENTURIES TO THE FUTURE EVENTS BEING PROPHESIED.

FORSHORTENING CAN BE SEEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY. 

WHEN YOU PHOTOGRAPH A SCENE WITH A TELEPHOTO LENS, ALL THE OBJECTS SEEM TO BE CLOSER TOGETHER THAN THEY REALLY ARE.

SOMETIMES ON THE NEWS, YOU'LL SEE A FILM CLIP OF CARS ON THE FREEWAY AND THEY ALL LOOK LIKE THEY'RE RIGHT ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.

THEY REALLY AREN'T ON TOP OF EACH OTHER, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE IN THE FILM CLIP.

THAT'S CALLED FORSHORTENING AND IT CAN BE LIKE THAT WITH PROPHESY TOO.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SEEING HERE IN ZECHARIAH

CHAPTER 9.

THERE ARE TWO EVENTS BEING PROPHESIED, THAT ARE REALLY FARTHER APART THAN THEY APPEAR TO BE.

THERE'S THE FIRST COMING OF MESSIAH.

AND THERE'S THE SECOND COMING OF MESSIAH.

WE FIND THE FIRST COMING OF MESSIAH, RECORDED IN ALL FOUR OF THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS.

THE SECOND COMING OF MESSIAH HASN'T HAPPENED YET.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PROPHESIES IN THE BIBLE ABOUT JESUS CHRIST'S SECOND COMING, AND IT REALLY IS AN INTERESTING STUDY.

YOU KNOW, MAYBE WE MIGHT JUST START A SERIES ABOUT THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, ON SUNDAY NIGHTS.

WE’LL SEE.

BUT FOR TODAY, WE'RE ONLY GOING TO BE LOOKING AT THE FIRST COMING OF MESSIAH.

LET’S READ THE STORY OF JESUS’ FIRST COMING AS RECORDED IN MATTHEW 21:1-11

Matthew 21:1-11

 

The Triumphal Entry

21     As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5     “Say to the Daughter of Zion,

‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” 

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

II.               POINT #2

THE JEWISH PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED BY THIS PROPHESY.

THE PEOPLE HAD READ THE PROPHESY IN ZECHARIAH 9:9, BUT AFTER IT TALKS ABOUT A MESSIAH THAT'S RIDING IN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A DONKEY IT GOES ON TO DESCRIBE A WARRIOR MESSIAH.

FOR INSTANCE, LATER ON IN

Zechariah 9:14 (NIV) WE READ
14     Then the Lord will appear over them;

his arrow will flash like lightning.

The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet;

he will march in the storms of the south,

THE PEOPLE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT MESSIAH HAD TO SOMEHOW BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN LOST MANKIND AND GOD.

THEY DIDN'T REALIZE THAT MESSIAH HAD TO FIRST SUFFER AND DIE FOR OUR SINS.

WHAT THEY REALLY WANTED WAS A MESSIAH THAT WOULD KICK OUT THOSE HATED ROMAN SOLDIERS AND PUT THE REST OF THE WORLD UNDER JEWISH CONTROL.

EVEN HIS OWN DISCIPLES THOUGHT THAT JESUS WAS GOING TO SET UP AN EARTHLY KINGDOM.

THAT'S WHY JAMES AND JOHN GOT THEIR MOTHER TO GO TO JESUS AND ASK FOR HIM TO GIVE JAMES AND JOHN SPECIAL PLACES AT HIS SIDE WHEN HE BECAME KING.

THAT'S WHY HIS DISCIPLES WERE ARGUING ABOUT WHO WAS THE GREATEST. 

THEY WERE EXPECTING TO BE PART OF THE PRESIDENTS CABINET.

WHAT THEY ALL WANTED WAS A WARRIOR KING THAT WOULD DRIVE OUT THE ROMANS THAT HAD INTRUDED INTO THEIR COUNTRY.

THEY WANTED THEIR NATION TO RULE THE WORLD.

THEY KNEW THAT IT WAS PROPHESIED THAT THEY WOULD SOMEDAY BE THE CENTER OF THE WORLD AND

THEY THOUGHT THAT IF JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH THEN HE WOULD FULFILL THOSE PROPHESIES. 

THE ONES FOUND IN DANIEL AND IN EZEKIEL.

THEY EXPECTED JESUS TO SET HIMSELF UP AS THE KING OF THE JEWS AND MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SUBSERVIENT TO THEM.

THERE WAS ONLY ONE OR TWO PEOPLE THAT I CAN POINT TO THAT REALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS GOING ON.

BOTH WERE WOMEN, AND BOTH WERE NAMED MARY.

I THINK JESUS’ MOTHER MAY HAVE REALIZED WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

AND I THINK THAT MARY OF BETHANY GOT IT.  MARY OF BETHANY WAS THE WOMAN THAT BROKE THE ALABASTER JAR AND POURED ALABASTER ON JESUS' HEAD IN

MATHEW 26:6.

JESUS HIMSELF SAID THAT SHE DID IT TO PREPARE HIM FOR HIS BURIAL.

I PERSONALLY THINK THAT MARY OF BETHANY WAS THE SAME MARY THAT WAS SISTER TO MARTHA AND LAZARUS.

AN INTERESTING THING TO NOTICE IS THAT THE PRICE JUDAS RECEIVED FOR BETRAYING JESUS WAS WORTH LESS THAN THE ALABASTER THAT MARY POURED OUT ON HIS HEAD WITH SUCH RECKLESS ABANDON.

THE ALABASTER WAS WORTH A WHOLE YEARS WAGES, WHILE THE PRICE JUDAS GOT FOR BETRAYING JESUS WAS WORTH A MERE 30 PIECES OF SILVER.

THE WAGES OF SIN ARE NEVER WORTH IT.

WELL THE TRUTH IS; MOST OF THE JEWS DIDN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

 THE PROPHESIES ABOUT HIM SETTING UP AN EARTHLY KINGDOM WAS NOT TO HAPPEN FOR A LONG TIME YET.

AND SO WHEN JESUS CAME IN A WAY THAT WASN'T POLITICALLY CORRECT,

A WAY THAT WAS DIFFERENT FROM THEIR INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPHESY.

THE JEWISH LEADERSHIP AND MOST OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE TURNED ON JESUS AND WANTED TO HAVE HIM CRUCIFIED.

III.           POINT #3

THE FIRST COMING OF MESSIAH WAS MORE OF A CRISIS POINT IN JESUS’ LIFE

THAN A TRIUMPFUL ENTRY.

BY THIS WORLD’S STANDARDS;

THE SO CALLED TRIUMPHAL ENTRY WAS ACTUALLY MORE LIKE A PARADE OF POVERTY THAN A TRIUMPFUL ENTRY.   

BY THIS WORLD’S STANDARDS;

IT WAS THE COMING OF A VERY POOR MAN WITH A FEW, VERY POOR FOLLOWERS.


 

IF THERE HAD BEEN A ROMAN IN JERUSALEM THAT DAY WHO HAD JUST STEPPED OUT OF A BUILDING AND NOTICED THIS PARADE.

 AND IF SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD HIM THAT THIS WAS THE TRIUMPFUL ENTRY OF JESUS,

HE WOULD HAVE LAUGHED.

HE WOULD HAVE SAID YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN ROME WHEN CAESAR CAME BACK FROM GAUL.

NOW THERE WAS A PARADE .

IT LASTED FOR THREE DAYS.

THAT’S HOW LONG IT TOOK FOR ALL THE BOOTY AND THE CAPTIVES TO BE PARADED IN FRONT OF THE ROMAN CITIZENS.

TO A ROMAN, THIS ENTRY OF JESUS WOULD HAVE LOOKED VERY POOR AND BEGGARLY.


WELL, THE TRUTH IS, THAT JESUS DIDN'T INTEND FOR IT BE TRIUMPHAL.

WHEN HE RODE INTO JERUSALEM, IT ACTUALLY MARKED A CRISIS POINT IN HIS LIFE.

IT MARKED A CHANGE IN HIS TACTICS.

BEFORE TODAY, HE HAD SLIPPED INTO THE CITY SILENTLY.

HE HAD ENTERED THE CITY UNOBTRUSIVELY.

HE TRIED TO AVOID PUBLICITY AND TRIED TO KEEP THE PEOPLE HE HEALED FROM DECLAIRING IT TO OTHERS.

NOW THERE IS AN ABOUT-FACE.

NOW HE IS COMING OUT INTO THE OPEN

HE ENTERS JERUSALEM PUBLICLY

HE IS DEMANDING ATTENTION

HE IS REQUIRING A DECISION.

HE IS FORCING THE ISSUE, IF YOU WILL.

FOR ONE BRIEF MOMENT, THE NATION MUST CONSIDER HIM AS THEIR KING AND THEIR MESSIAH.

THE PHARISEES CRIED OUT IN

John 12:19b (NIV)

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

JESUS RODE INTO JERUSALEM ON A LITTLE DONKEY.

IN THAT DAYM THE HORSE WAS AN ANIMAL OF WARFARE.

AND IF JESUS HAD INTENDED TO LEAD A REBELLION AGAINST ROME, HE WOULD HAVE RODE ON A HORSE.

BUT A LITTLE DONKEY WAS A SYMBOL OF PEACE.

ACTUALLY A DONKEY WAS AN ANIMAL OF ROYALTY.

IN JUDGES 10:3-4 WE SEE A JUDGE WHO HAD THIRTY SONS, AND HE GOT ALL OF THEM DONKEYS TO RIDE ON.

ACCORDING TO J. VERNON McGEE

THAT WOULD BE LIKE BUYING EACH OF THEM A JAGUAR SPORTS CAR TODAY.

RIDING INTO JERUSALEM ON A LITTLE DONKEY WAS

AN ACT OF A KING COMING IN PEACE.

NOT TO MENTION THAT IT WAS THE FULFILLMENT OF PROPHESY THAT HE WOULD COME RIDING ON A COLT THE FOAL OF A DONKEY.

ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT IS THAT JESUS ACTUALLY ENTER JERUSALEM ON THREE DIFFERENT DAYS,

HE ENTERED ON SATURDAY, THE SABBATH DAY AS THE KING. 

HE JUST LOOKED AROUND AND THEN LEFT. 

THERE WERE NO MONEY CHANGERS IN THE TEMPLE ON THE SABBATH DAY.

THIS WAS HIS COMING AS KING ON PALM SATURDAY. (Mark 11:11).

THEN HE CAME AGAIN ON SUNDAY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK.

THE MONEY CHANGERS WERE IN THE TEMPLE AND  HE CLEANSED THE TEMPLE AT THAT TIME. (Matt. 21:12).

THE DRIVING OUT OF THE MONEY CHANGERS WAS HIS ONLY ACTION THAT HE PERFORMED IN

HIS OFFICE OF PRIEST.

THIS WAS HIS COMING AS PRIEST ON PALM SUNDAY

AND THEN ON MONDAY HE CAME BACK TO THE TEMPLE AND BEGAN TO TEACH THE PEOPLE.

NOW HE WAS FILLING THE ROLE OF GOD’S PROPHET.

(Matt. 21:23)

IT WAS ON THIS DAY THAT THE CHIEF PRIESTS CAME AND DEMANDED TO KNOW WHO GAVE HIM THE AUTHORITY TO DO THE THINGS HE WAS DOING.

JESUS MET THESE CHIEF PRIESTS AND ALL THE REST OF THE RELIGIOUS ELITE HEAD ON.

A BATTLE OF WORDS BEGAN AND JESUS DEFEATED EVERY ONE OF THEM.

HE SILENCED THE ENEMY.

HE PARRIED EVERY ATTEMPT TO CATCH HIM IN HIS WORDS.

DURING THIS TIME OF CHALLENGE FROM THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS, JESUS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WAS THE SON OF GOD AND THAT HE WAS SENT BY GOD.

HE SAID  IN JOHN 14:9  HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER.

SO WE SEE THAT CHRIST’S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM WASN'T JUST ONCE, BUT THREE TIMES.

HE CAME IN HIS THREE FOLD OFFICE OF PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING.

I’VE TITLED THIS SERMON, THE TRIUMPFUL EXIT, BECAUSE JESUS WAS ACTUALLY MAKING AN EXIT AND NOT AN ENTRANCE.

HE WASN'T MAKING ARRANGMENTS TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN JERUSALEM AND BEGIN TO REIGN AS KING.

HE SENT HIS DISCIPLES TO PREPARE  A ROOM FOR THEM TO EAT THE PASSOVER IN.

HE DIDN’T SEND THEM TO RENT AN APARTMENT.

HE WASN’T PLANNING ON STAYING; HE WAS PREPARING TO GO BACK TO THE FATHER.

HE WAS DOING WHAT WAS NECESSARY TO FINISH HIS MISSION ON EARTH AND THEN TO EXIT.

HE WAS GETTING READY FOR HIS PASSION, HIS SUFFERING  AND HIS SACRIFICIAL DEATH.

HIS FIRST ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM WASN'T A ONE WAY TICKET. 

IT WAS A ROUND TRIP TICKET,

IT WAS PART OF THE PROGRAM

THAT LED TO HIS DEATH,

HIS RESURRECTION,

HIS ASCENSION,

HIS COMING BACK TO RAPTURE HIS CHURCH,

AND FINALLY TO BECOME THE REIGNING KING OF THE WORLD.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THIS RIDE ON A DONKEY WAS ONLY ONE PART OF A TRIP THAT BEGAN IN ETERNITY PAST

WHEN HE WAS THE LAMB SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.

AND EXTENDS IT INTO ETERNITY FUTURE.

JESUS IS THE ONE WHO CAME OUT OF ETERNITY

THAT DAY.

JESUS IS THE HIGH AND LOFTY ONE, WHOSE NAME IS HOLY,

JESUS STEPPED OUT OF ETERNITY FOR ONE REASON

AND THAT WAS TO SAVE YOU AND ME. (Isa. 57:15)

 

JESUS IS THE EVERLASTING ONE,

HE'S THE ONE FROM VANISHING POINT TO VANISHING POINT,

HE IS GOD.

AT HIS FIRST COMING HE CAME TO DIE FOR OUR SINS

AT HIS SECOND COMING HE WILL COME BACK TO RAPTURE HIS CHURCH AND THEN SET UP THAT EARTHLY KINGDOM THAT THE JEWS WERE EXPECTING THE FIRST TIME.

THE CHURCH CALLS IT A TRIUMPHAL ENTRY, BUT ACTUALLY IT WAS MORE OF A TRIUMPHAL EXIT.

 THE CROWD THAT FOLLOWED HIM CRYING HOSANNA DIDN’T THINK OF HIM AS THE SON OF GOD, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.

THAT CROWD CRIED HOSANNA ON MONDAY AND THEN ON WEDNESDAY THEY SHOUTED CRUCIFY HIM.

IT WAS SIX MONTHS EARLIER THAT JESUS SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM AND DIE.

HE WAS ON A PREARRANGED PROGRAM.

NOTHING WAS ACCIDENTAL. 

IT WAS A DEFINITE DECISION.

WHEN HE RODE INTO JERUSALEM, HE HAD COME OUT OF ETERNITY AND HE WAS GOING BACK INTO ETERNITY.

THIS WAS MORE OF AN EXIT THAN AN ENTRY.

THIS WAS ONLY HIS FIRST COMING.

THE CROSS AND THE EMPTY TOMB WERE NOT HIS FINAL DESTINATION AND

NEITHER WAS HIS ASCENSION THE END OF THE STORY.

HE TOLD THE THIEF ON THE CROSS, THAT HE WOULD BE WITH JESUS IN PARADISE THAT VERY DAY. (Luke 23:43).

AND JESUS SAYS THE SAME THING TO US TODAY.

BECAUSE HE GAVE HIMSELF TO BE THE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD,

HE CAN OFFER US PARADISE TOO.

WHY WOULD ANYONE TURN AN OFFER LIKE THIS DOWN?

I'LL TELL YOU WHY, IT'S BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP THEIR SELF CONTROL.  NOT EVEN TO GOD.

WE LIKE TO BE IN CHARGE.

WE LIKE TO BE THE RULER.

IN THE SONG I DID IT MY WAY, FRANK SINATRA SANG THESE WORDS;

And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets, I've had a few ... I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

THIS SONG TOUCHS A CORD IN OUR RUGGED INDIVIDUAL SELVES.

WE LIKE TO THINK THAT WE ARE SO SELF SUFFICIENT.

WE CAN FACE ANYTHING.

WE MAY TAKE A FEW LUMPS, BUT WE'RE GONNA STAND TALL AND DO IT OUR WAY.

THE LAST FEW LINES OF HIS SONG READS;

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels

and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

MY FRIENDS, AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT WILL TAKE YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL.

THAT KIND OF ATTITUDE SAYS THAT I DON'T NEED GOD.

I DON'T NEED ANYTHING OR ANYBODY.

BUT YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART THAT WE DO NEED HELP.

WE MAKE TERRIBLE MESSES OF OUR LIVES WITHOUT GOD'S HELP.

AND WE DON'T HAVE TO.

HE PAID THE PRICE FOR US TO HAVE AMAZING FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM.

WE CAN ENJOY GOD'S PRESENCE AND HIS HELP, FROM TODAY ALL THE WAY INTO ETERNITY FUTURE.

And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

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