When Jesus Comes to Our Town
April 01, 2023
What Happens When Jesus Shows Up in Our Town
The Messianic Moment
Jesus makes an Announcement of the Kingdom of God, his first public announcement that he was and is the Messiah was a coronation parade, staged ad strategic. It was a confirmation of the speculations of many, but also a confrontation with the political and religious leadership of his day.
He will confront the religious establishment, the civil leadership, and Rome itself. He will defy every expression of empire and proclaim the rule of God.
Pay attention to the next week because everything Jesus does and says will be in this role.
Know that he knows what is ahead, that this week of Messianic proclamation will defy preconceptions and prejudices about what God's Kingdom looks like.
It will also culminate in something no one expected of a Messiah, to die as a servant, a Savior, and a criminal, ultimately, to rise again.
It is the great show-down.
Jesus saw it as the inevitable culmination of his earthly mission and this was the time for it.
"And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." - Matthew 21:9
We join the eternal chorus of welcome as the Lord Jesus Christ enters as the King who comes in the Name of the Lord. He is Prince of Peace and righteousness. His Kingdom comes with glory and praise, but also with a cross of pain and disgrace.
He willingly steps into the sphere of time, space, and judgment to face whatever stands between Him and His mission to bring all who welcome Him into eternal fellowship with the Father.
The crowd that greeted Jesus was genuinely worshiping God.
When we say, “Hosanna,” we think of phrases like, “Praise the Lord,” and “Three cheers,” and “Hip, hip, hooray.”
That does capture the joyful spirit of the greeting, but it is deeper than that. It is literally a confident and pleading call upon God to save.
The more we seek Him, the more our hearts are changed by His power within us and the clearer our hope of His salvation becomes. The more we welcome Him, the more we participate in the celebration of His presence. Our expectant hope grows.
We see the King, riding on a lowly donkey. He is the humble exalted one!
He is coming in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but He is not exactly what we expect. Though He is royalty, He acts like a servant-king.
As we look from Palm Sunday toward Maundy Thursday, we see how the praise and flattery that met Jesus upon His entry into the Holy City turned to something more bitter.
In the same city where He heard, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord,” He also heard, “Crucify Him!”
As they waved palm branches and cried out praise, they most likely meant what they said.
Yet, later, He was rejected in the same place.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus went to the upper room and took the role of a servant. With His words and deeds, He offered His body and blood for the redemption of lost men and women. He emptied Himself and held nothing back.
The “Hosanna” prayer was about to be answered. Jesus was about to deliver Himself for our salvation. The servant-King would give His life for many.
With all of that understanding, let us worship Him today.
Thank God because he’s good,
because his love never quits.
Tell the world, Israel,
“His love never quits.”
And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world,
“His love never quits.”
And you who fear God, join in,
“His love never quits.”
And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard,
but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
so the victors can enter and praise.
Thank you for responding to me;
you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
is now the capstone!
This is God’s work.
We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
let’s celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
Oh yes, God—a free and full life!
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—
from God’s house we bless you!
God is God,
he has bathed us in light.
Adorn the shrine with garlands,
hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you.
O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.
His love never quits!
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”