Matthew 21:1-11

Palm Sunday  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro: Designated Survivor
The Unexpected Often Catches Us By Surprise.
Trivial Matters: DOW over 32,000; Carson Wentz Trade
Life Altering Matters: Becoming a Pastor; Moving to New York.
The Unexpected Reminds Us of Our Humanity (Finitude).
God Has Never Said & Will Never Say: “I Never Saw That Coming!”
I. Jesus was the Humble King They Never Saw Coming.
The Seven Narrative Units Prior to This is Matthew Shows Us How Jesus’ Kingdom Reverses Human Judgments.
Jesus Subverts Our Typical Understanding of Kingship to Suggest a Different Kind of Reign.
Jesus’ Entry Reflects the Nature of His Character & Purpose.
Jesus’ Reign Would Be Characterized by Humility.
Humility is Surprising Because It’s Not Normal.
Consider the Scene: Jesus is Engulfed in Enthusiastic Praise.
Character is Often Revealed When Praise Comes.
Most People Use Praise to Their Own Advantage - They Leverage It. Not Jesus.
Jesus Seems to Tolerate This Praise: He Knows He’s Going to Jerusalem for the Cross.
So He Rides a Donkey & a Borrowed Donkey at that.
Donkeys Were Lowly Animals, “Beasts of Burden.”
A King Riding a Donkey was a Contradiction of Terms.
But, It Reflected the True Values of Jesus’ Reign.
By Riding a Donkey, Jesus Fulfills a Prophesy Written Hundreds of Years Prior.
“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” (Zech. 9:9)
II. Jesus was the Victorious King They Never Saw Coming.
Consider Why the People are So Enthusiastic:
Passover: Celebrating Israel’s Freedom From Bondage in Egypt
Power: Some Had Just Seen Him Raise Lazarus from the Dead.
Political Situation: Rome was Oppressing the Jews
Prophesy: Zechariah 9:9 & Isaiah 62:11.
Promised Messiah: They Call Him the “Son of David” & Jesus Doesn’t Deny It.
Palms: National Symbol of Victory Over One’s Enemy
Praise: “Hosanna” - God Save Us (Though Probably Praise & Not Prayer)
They Desperately Wanted Freedom From Roman Oppression & Thought Jesus was the Guy.
But Jesus was an Unexpected Messiah: It’s No Wonder That Some Would Shout “Crucify Him” 5 Days Later.
He Wasn’t There to Bring Independence from Rome, But Independence from Sin.
We Should Not Be Surprised When God Does Things Differently Than We’d Like Him To.
III. Jesus was the Holy King They Never Saw Coming.
We Read: “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
Circle that Word: “Stirred”
Stirred is Probably Too Passive.
It’s Closer to “Shaken” (Where We Get the Word “Seismic”).
So, “Shaken, Not Stirred.”
Only a Holy God Could Cause an Earthquake in the Hearts of a City.
The Stirring Sparked a Question: “Who is This?”
No Important Important Question: It’s a Question of Identity.
Consider Our Cultural Moment: Value of Expressive Individualism.
“You Do You” “Follow Your Heart” “Find Yourself”
“Expressive Individualism” Coined By Sociologist Robert Bellah
The Highest Good is Self-Definition & Self-Expression.
I Call It “Disney Channel Theology”
Anything Tradition, Religion or Institution that Stands in the Way Must Be Destroyed.
Here’s Why This Matters: Our Culture Values Self-Expression, But Will We Extend the Same Privilege to Jesus?
Closing: What if the Answer to the Question, “Who is This?” Surprises Us?
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