Christ’s Parade to Calvary (Part 4)

Bob RoaneJesus Christ, Joy and Peace

The disciples brought the colt to Jesus and He rode it. As He went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. The whole crowd began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all of Christ’s miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19:35-38)

Jesus the Victor and Healer

In a sermon on Isaiah chapter 9, Pastor Ken Langley spoke about Christ’s life and ministry. He said that the emotional power of this chapter lies not only in Messiah’s titles, but in their cumulative effect. Jesus’ names and titles are more than their sum. Spoken together, or sung, as in Handel’s Messiah, they convey a sense of Christ’s majesty that can’t be captured by any single one of His titles. Jesus is the King of the universe who labored 33 years in obscurity. He was meek and mild in many ways, humbly serving the people who He had every right to reign over, and laying down His life for them. Today Jesus claims the throne of our lives. He is God’s anointed Prophet, Priest, and King, the Second (Last) Adam, the Bright and Morning Star, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Christ is victorious in battle and His hands bring healing. He is the Mighty Second Person of the Trinity, Son of David, Son of Man, the Word of God Incarnate, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. What a Savior!

In ancient Egypt, palms were carried in funeral processions and represented eternal life. This later became a symbol of Christian martyrs and their spiritual victory over death. People greeted Jesus with praise on the first Palm Sunday. So let’s greet Him now and all year long with open hearts and minds, laying ourselves at His feet in grateful love and service. The crowds laid down branches, but let us lay down our lives to Him, recalling His triumphal entry, His present kingship, and His sovereignty over our lives and our world.

This post builds on Christ’s Parade to Calvary (Part 1), (Part 2) and (Part 3)

Jesus is King of the World

Christ declared Himself to be the King of Israel and this angered the Pharisees.1 This is who Jesus always has been and always will be. He is also Lord of lords and King of kings and Lord of the all nations on earth.2

Psalm 117 says: Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! His love has taken over our lives. God’s faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah! (MSG)

Christ’s kingdom begins like a small mustard seed and the Holy Spirit grows it into a huge tree where all kinds of people all over the planet come to rest in Jesus’ shade and salvation. Worldwide population is now over 8 billion and over 2.6 billion claim to be Christ followers! The New Testament says: “If you belong to Jesus, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”3

Isaiah 9:7 says: Of the greatness of Christ’s government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

I repeat this triad from an earlier post to illustrate the stages of Christ’s kingship:

  • Jesus established His kingdom while here on Earth. He has saved and blessed us by His life, death, and resurrection.
  • Jesus continues building His kingdom from Heaven on Earth. As King of kings, He keeps on saving, helping, keeping and loving us.
  • Jesus will consummate His kingdom in the New Heaven and New Earth. He will perfect and complete our eternal salvation and blessing.

Messianic Prophecies in Zechariah

Zechariah was an Old Testament prophet near 500 BC. His name means “The Lord Remembers,” telling us that God will never forget His covenant. The Lord will be our God and we will be His people forever. Zechariah foretells Jesus is the High Priest and riding King. In humility, Christ once rode on a donkey.4 He will come again as King on His horse in final victory.5 Zechariah also prophesies that Jesus will be sold for 30 pieces of silver and the money used later to buy a potter’s field.6 He also foretells that Christ will be pierced for us on the Cross.7 Zechariah also forecasts that Jesus the Good Shepherd will be struck and His sheep (disciples) scattered.8 Zechariah 6:9-15 talks about the coronation of Joshua (a variant of Yeshua, a.k.a. Jesus) as priest to rebuild the temple, clothed with majesty, sitting and ruling upon his throne. In Christ’s coming, we see vividly that Lord remembered His promise to save us and govern us in His love. Praise Him!

The New Testament says: Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses God’s very character, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.9

Psalm 118

In the ancient Near East, they covered the path of VIPs, like our “red carpet welcome.” King Jehu was treated this way in the Old Testament. On the first Palm Sunday, the people sang part of Psalm 118 in praise to Christ. The crowds greeted Jesus with these words as He entered the Roman-occupied city as King David’s descendant. They said:

Lord, save us (hosanna in Hebrew)! Lord, grant us success (prosperity)! Blessed is He (Jesus) who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.

This is still a good prayer for us to pray, chant, and sing anytime, anywhere!

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.
(Lutheran Liturgy)

We are to live as if
Christ died yesterday,
rose this morning,
and is coming back tomorrow.
(Martin Luther)
Dying you destroyed our death. Rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.
(A prayer)

 Notes (various Bible translations): 1 Matt 21:14-16; Luke 19:39-40.     2 Revelation 17:14.     3 Gal 3:7-9,14,18,29, and many more.     4 Zec 9:9; Matt 21:1-5, more in other Gospels.     5 Rev 19:11-16.     6 Zec 11:12-13; Matt 26:15, 27:1-10.     7 Zec 12:10; John 19:34-37; Rev 1:7.     8 Zec 13:7; Matt 26:31,56; Mark 14:27.     9 Heb 1:1-3.