When missionaries from New Tribes Missions went into the jungle and taught the
Bible in chronological order, an amazing thing happened. The villagers were drawn
into the Greatest Story Ever Told.
They leaned forward and listened well to hear what would happen next. They never
missed a Bible story unless they were extremely sick, and even then, someone from
the tribe would retell that day’s story at their bedside.
Is this our attitude towards God’s story? Sometimes even people who love the Lord
can grow bored with His great story because we already know how it ends. We can
forget how amazing it is, that it is still being written, and that we are part of it, each of
So, please, just for a little while, forget how the story ends, and listen to this story as
if you’ve never heard it before.
First, let me tell you how we celebrated Palm Sunday and Easter in my childhood
town in the United States. They were magical holidays with new clothes, girls
wearing pastel dresses and boys with fresh haircuts, new shirts and polished shoes,
older women wearing large hats.
We received gifts like new Bibles and crosses made from palm leaves. There were
feelings of wonder, excitement, anticipation, amazement. It was exciting to go to
church on these days. It wasn’t boring, nor was it heavy with regulations and religion.
It was like springtime itself, joyful, hopeful and promising. It seemed like Easter was
the whole reason for springtime.
Palm Sunday is the day we remember Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
Here’s Some Background
• The story is recorded in all four Gospels. The same story. Four points of view.
• Characters: Jesus, His Disciples, The Crowds, Some Pharisees, The City of
• Bethany is where the story begins. It was the town where Jesus went at night
after spending His days with the hostile Jews in Jerusalem. It was the home of
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
• It was where Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them dry with her
hair. Jesus said it was to prepare Him for burial.
• The journey from Bethany to Jerusalem was about 3.2 km, shorter than a walk
around the Walls of Lucca.
Listen while I read Luke 19:28-44
The Triumphal Entry
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to
Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is
called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of
you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat.
Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall
say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found
it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to
them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35
And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on
it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was
drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of
his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty
works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of
the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in
the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you,
if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying,
“Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!
But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when
your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in
on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you.
And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the
time of your visitation.”
Verse 28 said, “ And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to
Jerusalem.” What were these things? We need to understand what Jesus had just
said before starting His journey into Jerusalem.
Jesus had just taught the people The Parable of the Ten Minas, and the point of the
parable was that true faith will be rewarded, but for those without faith in Jesus, they
will lose even what they have.
There are al least three important things to learn from this story.
My First Point: There is a Supernatural Pattern of Fulfilled Prophecy in the
Bible. This should give us great confidence and boldness to trust Jesus and do His
First, there is of prophecy concerning when the Messiah would arrive.
Daniel 9:25 says, “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of
the word to restore and build Jerusalem, to the coming of an anointed one, a prince,
there shall be seven weeks.” 550 BC. Daniel didn’t know who would give the
command to rebuild Jerusalem or when it would happen but he foretold it.
Nehemiah wrote about the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Nehemiah 2:1-8.
It was King Artaxerxes who told the Prophet Nehemiah to go rebuild the walls, the
city and the temple of Jerusalem in 444 BC
That marked the beginning of a symbolic “seven week” period which ended in
March of A.D. 33, exactly when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. Some scholars believe
the exact date of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry was, 29 March A.D.33.
Second, there is prophecy concerning how the Messiah would arrive and what the
crowd would proclaim.
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly
and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey”.
Jesus the humble King came in peace on a donkey, to seek and save the lost, not
riding on a warhorse, in judgement.
The crowd publicly praised Jesus, calling Him their King and their Lord. They called
Him Hosannah, which means, “Save us now.” And openly proclaimed Him to be their
Messiah, the One whom Israel had been waiting for to deliver them.
Third, as Jesus is fulfilling the prophecies given in Daniel, Nehemiah and Zechariah,
He reiterated Isaiah & Ezekiel’s prophecies of Jerusalem’s destruction which would
take place from March through September in A.D. 70
My Second Point: Jesus Unmistakably Claimed His Deity.
In spite of the Pharisees, Jesus accepts praise as:
As the King, He entered Jerusalem, on a donkey, accepting the accolades of
the crowd which called Him the King of Israel as they laid their cloaks and soft
branches on the road in front of Him.
As a Priest, Jesus taught in the temple daily, and after He entered Jerusalem,
he turned over the tables of the people who were using His Father’s house as a
common marketplace of exploitation.
As a Prophet, Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s and reiterated the prophecy of
its’ destruction because it failed to recognize and worship God’s Son. Some of the
people in the crowd said that Jesus was a Prophet from Nazareth.
As the Messiah, Jesus accepted the praises from the crowds, ““Blessed is
the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the
highest!” “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of
the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father
David! Hosanna in the highest!” These praises were reserves only for the Messiah.
My Final Point: Obedience to Christ Requires Faith. This was true then, and it’s
still true today for us. In verses 29-32, we see two of Jesus’ disciples fetching a
donkey from a complete stranger without giving any explanation in advance. If they
were guilty of stealing an animal, they must repay the person who owned the colt,
four fold, or maybe seven fold? These two disciples were acting in faith when untied
the donkey and took an animal which didn’t’ belong to them, but they were able to do
it because they believed Jesus’ words and acted in faith. They believed that the
donkey ultimately belonged to Jesus, and it was His property. They believed that if
someone objected, they merely needed to say, “The Lord has need of it.” That was
acting in faith.
During this time of house arrest, my family has been doing some Bible studies. One
study, Experiencing God teaches us that, “Joining God in His work always requires a
change in our direction and creates a crisis of belief.” If I had been one of the two
disciples, I think I might have tried to take the donkey as quietly as possible, to avoid
confrontation, but that wouldn’t be great faith; that’s little faith.
How is our faith this morning? What is the Lord asking us to do for Him during this
time of “staying at home?” Are we listening to Him? Do we hear what He is calling us
to do? Then, are we willing to move out of our comfort zone to join God in what He is
I believe that one reason God allows disasters like the Coronavirus is to take us out
of our comfort zones, so it’s easier for us to join Him in His work. Pray and ask God
what He has for you to do now?
When this crisis ends, we will all measure ourselves to how we handled it. Did we
make the most of every opportunity, as Paul said? What will we have to show for
I urge you to grow closer to God during this time and find peace in your relationship
with Him. Then, minister to those around you, in your home, in stores, and online.
Walk carefully because time is short.