Dig deeper into the message during the sermon, in your personal Bible study, or with your family or Community Group in application-driven discussion.
Churches around the world celebrate the Sunday before Easter as a commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We call it Palm Sunday because the crowds which welcomed Jesus waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna!”, welcoming Jesus as their long awaited King by quoting Psalm 118, a messianic psalm.
1. Jesus is the true King (v. 37-38). While the world loves the idea of royalty, we Americans like to think that we are in charge of our own lives. But the simple fact is, we’re not, and I’ll tell you why: we all live for something—trying to find a sense of significance—and the simple fact is that whatever we’re living for, we serve. How do I know this? Because that thing you live for—be it career, health, relationships—when it goes wrong, we melt down! It’s become our master, our lord, our king. In Eden we had a king—a true King, a King of absolute glory and splendor. We saw firsthand his justice, his power his wisdom, his compassion, his nobility. But when sin entered the world, we lost him. Yet all the pages of the Bible rustle with the rumor that a triumphant King will come again! The King we abandoned in the garden, has come back (v. 38)! But when we realize that Jesus is not just some warm, fuzzy person who wants to make our lives better—that he’s the sovereign King of the Universe to whom we must submit—we start to panic! If you find that unsettling, consider this: if we think we’re in control of life, that’s an illusion! We each already serve someone or something. You do not control yourself; you’re controlled by the lord of your life, whatever that is. You may think, “I want to change my life, but I don’t want to lose control.” But you’ve already lost control. The only King who doesn’t oppress is Jesus, because he’s humble.
2. Jesus is a humble King (v. 30-35). Kings typically ride in on war horses, but Zechariah 9:9 explicitly puts great emphasis on the humility of Israel’s donkey-riding king! Jesus doesn’t come with worldly power, but with the meek, healing power of forgiveness. We need not fear submission to this king. He’s our Redeemer; he forgives us. And he’s our Creator—he controls us as calmly as he did that unbroken donkey. When King Jesus is in control, he brings beautiful harmony (Isaiah 11:6, 9). Since Jesus is the true king, the humble king, we can trust him. But how do we do that?
3. How to make Jesus your King. In order to treat Jesus as king, we must do three things: [a] We have to worship him supremely. Jesus’ kingship, when properly understood, leads us to joyfully praise God. The things you daydream about, that excite you, that you love—those things are your god. When your mind is free to go wherever it wants, where does it go? What do you day dream about? If your mind automatically goes to Jesus, then when you lose a job, your health, or a relationship, it may be tough, but it won’t be the end of the world, because you still have what you cherish most. [b] We have to obey him. Verses 32-34 give us a beautiful picture of obedience. We obey Jesus because he is God, and we are not. If Jesus is your King, you have to obey him unconditionally. You don’t have to understand him. Jesus is not merely a consultant; he’s king! [c] We have to expect great things from him (v. 39-40). As beautiful as the world is right now, it’s only a shadow of what it’s going to be when the King comes back (Revelation 21:4; Psalm 96:11-13). If you have low expectations, you’re not treating Jesus as a King. When Jesus came rolling into town on a donkey’s colt, he was saying, in effect: “Either crown me as King or kill me!” They killed him. What will you do? Will you make him your king? Will you worship and obey him and expect great things from him?
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- Worship Christ supremely.
- Obey Christ explicitly.
- Expect great things from Christ.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)