The Triumphal Entry Teaches US About Worship


The Triumphal Entry Of Christ

April 17,2011

 

Theme: The Triumphal Entry of Christ teaches us about worship.

Luke 19:29-42 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 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. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 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, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 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.

Background into the story: To understand this story we must look at the story itself. Below you will find some of the critical parts to this story:

  1. They came to celebrate Passover – The triumphal entry into Jerusalem took place during the Passover season which meant the city of Jerusalem was filled with people from around the world. Because of the festivities around this week the crowd was ready to celebrate so it would not have taken much for them to get worked up. Some have estimated that the population in Jerusalem during this season had swelled to over 3 million.
  2. They came to see Jesus and Lazarus – In John 12, we see that many of those who had come had heard the news about Lazarus and were ready to meet this man called Jesus. Lazarus had been dead for three days and Jesus raised Him.
  3. Why a donkey? The donkey was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. We see the prophetic word “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” being fulfilled in this moment.
  4. Why a Triumph Parade? The scene of the multitude throwing palm branches was not an uncommon event. In fact,
    when a Roman general was victorious in battle they would receive an official “triumph” parade upon his return to Rome. To receive such a parade he would have had to have slain at least 5000 of the enemy. Anything less than that would have been just an ovation. History also tells us that the king when entering a city would ride on a horse when going into battle and he would ride a donkey when he came in peace. So you see the Prince of Peace was coming into the city.
  5. Why the palms? The palms were symbols of victory and rejoicing. It was not uncommon for the streets to be strewn with flowers and tree branches to celebrate royalty and victorious generals.
  6. Sounds of Praise – “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah…” As they were signing this psalm they were looking to Jesus as God’s Anointed One, the Messiah, the Deliverer, the One who was to come.

 

In this event there was both great insight and great misunderstanding for the Jew.

The great insight was that Jesus was really the King who came in the Name of the Lord. He was Messiah, the Son of David, the long-awaited ruler of Israel, the fulfillment of all of God’s promises.

The great misunderstanding was that the people of Israel thought Messiah would enter Jerusalem and by his mighty works, take his throne and make Israel free from Rome. But they had a limited vision of His purpose. He was here not to save Israel from Rome but He was here to save the world from sin.

 

In this story we have some key lessons on authentic worship and conversely the false kind of worship that God never intended.

The triumphal enter teaches us that we should be good stewards of what we have been given. You never know how God is going use what you have. Luke 19:29-34
When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 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. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”

  1. Jesus called the disciples to go into the town and when they arrived they were to find a colt tied up. They were to tell the owner that Jesus had need of it and that he was to release it into their care. The lesson here is that God owns it all. One of the important facts about worship is that God owns everything and we are simply stewards of what He has given us. The problem is that we argue and debate about the 10% when God actually owns it all. It is all his. In other words 100% of what you have is His, He has loaned it to you.
    1. Your possessions
    2. Your money
    3. Your profession or job
    4. Your family
    5. Your health
    6. Your ministry
  2. God has created us all with talents, gifts, abilities and experiences. God does not waste anything. In particular I want you to think about your experiences. How has God used the experiences of your life to change others; change you? Don’t minimize the experiences of your life as God can turn them for His good. Moses lost it all and ended up on the back side of the desert but this was all God’s plan because he was training, developing and nurturing Moses’ leadership skills that He would use in Egypt.
  3. What do you have that God can use today? What gifts are you holding back? What area of your life is refusing to allow God to have access to?
    1. Talents
    2. Gifts
    3. Abilities
    4. Wisdom
    5. Experiences

 

The triumphal entry teaches that Godly worship is not what we do when are alone Worship is living a lifestyle of worship at all times. Luke 19:35-38
And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 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, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

  1. Flash forward one week – When we flash forward by one week we see this same crowd rejecting Christ. You see they were crowd oriented rather God focused. The problem with palm branches is that they don’t live very long. The problem with palm Sunday is that the excitement of the crowd soon faded and when Good Friday came around the same voices that sounded Hosanna were now shouting crucify Him. Their love for Christ was shallow and based entirely on the exciting things that He could do for them.
  2. Worship is not what takes place on Sunday but it is what happens on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
    It is what happens in our homes, on the job, on the highway, with our friends and when no one else is around.
  3. We tend to segment our worship where we think that we have a spiritual life and we have a secular life. If that is your view I beg to differ because we are spiritual beings that have been filled with God’s grace and power. We are to be the church wherever we go. You see we don’t go to church; we bring church in with us. Did you know that this building is not the church? It is the place however that the church meets.
  4. How’s our worship life? Are we living a life of worship and praise or does our lifestyle reject Christ? Are you caught up in the crowd? It is easy to get caught up in the crowd and fail to make a personal commitment. You see we can run with the crowd but be left empty and unchanged by God. If there is no transformation then are you really connected to Him? Do you worship only when it is convenient – If we are not careful we will worship God only when it is convenient. How easy is it for you to reject God? If we are not careful one moment we will be worshipping and the next we will be rejecting Christ. Too many people live throughout the week like atheists and agnostics. Do you see God in the mundane things of life? If we only see Him in the excitement, we may miss him in the mundane and daily functions of life. When we do this we often lose faith and hope because we don’t see Him moving. Do you allow public opinion to change the message you hear or the work you do for Christ? It did not change Christ’s work or view of Himself. Christ did not allow the crowds to determine His obedience.
  5. We don’t worship, we are worship. We are living sacrifices. We should seek to glorify God in every thing that we do. Jesus in John 4:24 calls us to worship in sprit and in truth.

 

The Triumphal entry teaches us that Godly worship will cause the cynics and the critics to come out in mass. Luke 19:39-42 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 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. The Pharisees called for the disciples to be silent. “Teacher rebuke your disciples.” They judged what they did not understand. They criticize what they others to get above them. Whenever there is a healthy move of God or worship that honors Him there will be cynics. They will argue that you should: Not be so committed; Not be so expressive; Not be so Christian. The fact is that God will be praised. He will be praised by people or creation will scream out worship. Are you the cynic? We can become pharisaical.

Triumphal worship teaches us that God calls for real authentic worshippers but the world around us is seeing a disconnect between what we say and what we do. Real worship causes us to see people in a new light. This new light is not judgmental but draws us to compassion. In this passage we see Jesus praying for the city of Jerusalem. You see worship is not about Sunday it is about reaching others for Christ. The tendency is for us to preach one thing and do another. Then we tend to be prideful, condescending, and fake.

What are the implications of this passage:

  1. We must think of worship as encompassing all of life.
  2. We must not confuse “forms of worship” with the essence of worship.
  3. We must value content far more than style.
  4. We must allow the Bible to inform, guide, and saturate our worship.
  5. We must look to Jesus who died for our false and vain worship.


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