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The King is Coming! (text)

November 11, 2012 Series: Gospel of Mark

Topic: Christian Living Passage: Mark 11:1–11

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Mark 11:1-11.

The way we preach is known as Exegetical Preaching. That means we preach through scripture, usually a book at a time. For example, we’re preaching through the Gospel of Mark right now. There are many benefits in this but one of the benefits we’ve seen is that often, God ordains a certain passage on a certain week when we need to hear it. Your thinking: “Probably not the best week to bring that up. This is a Palm Sunday message; next week is supposed to Easter but its Thanksgiving! What happened in that planning meeting?” I know it doesn’t seem like it but I think today is one of those days.

There is a lot of fear and emotion in our country related to the problems we have as a nation; financial problems and debt, jobs, wars, morality and even just the general direction of the country. Our problems are staring us in the face; and even more this week because we just had an election. Our tendency is to believe that if the right guy is in office, everything will be ok (yes-important issues, need to do our part). So if your candidate lost this week you may be tempted to discouragement, fear or confusion. If your candidate won you may have a feeling of confidence and security. Both normal responses but today I believe the Lord would have us take our eyes off of man and look at Him.

Jesus doesn’t want us to experience fear or confidence because of man or anything else. Jesus wants us to look to Him for security and to find our hope in Him and in nothing else because He is the ruler and sustainer of all things. Jesus is the King of Kings and we should worship Him. This morning I want us to focus on 2 things that we learn in this passage that will help us keep our eyes on the true King.

First, JESUS IS THE KING. Up to this time, Jesus has not allowed His identity as Messiah and King to be publically known. But now it’s time. Jesus is now revealing Himself as the King. As He approaches Jerusalem, He knows that He will never leave the city but will die there. And so, with great intentionality He sends 2 disciples into town to pick up His ride. And verse 7 says: “And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it.” This action of Jesus was significant because it was a deliberate fulfillment of a prophesy about the Messiah from Zechariah 9:9:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

This prophecy was commonly known and consistently applied to the Messiah, the promised King; everyone would have recognized the significance. So in a way more effective than with words, Jesus announced to all present that He was the long awaited King of Israel. Jesus is the King…

And the crowds recognized him as king. This was the beginning of the week of Unleavened Bread which ended with the Passover Feast so there could have been as many as 1 million add’l people in Jerusalem that day. And when the crowds saw Jesus riding in on the donkey they responded to Him as if He was a King.

It was customary for a large delegation from the city to go out and meet the king as He approached the city. They would gather all around Him in celebration and then lead Him into the city, laying down their garments and branches on the ground in honor -communicating the worth, majesty and greatness of the King (the beginnings of Red Carpet treatment).

And as they did this they cried out for His Rule and deliverance; they praised Him and acknowledged that he was sent from God. Let’s read verse 9-10: “And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” This is from Psalm 118 (about Jesus), giving further recognition to Jesus as the Messiah King by the crowd. SAVE US! SAVE NOW WE PRAY!! This was a cry for deliverance. They had been waiting for this King, they expected this King, and now He was here! Can you feel the excitement, the elation? The crowd is fired up about King Jesus. But the fanfare would not last long.

Jesus is the King that they were looking for but He was a different King than they expected. The 2nd thing we learn is that JESUS CAME TO DIE. Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The crowds expected their King be a powerful leader; to take over the Roman Empire by force and restore the glory of the nation of Israel. But our greatest need isn’t military deliverance or political reform. No man can give us the peace that we desire and freedom that we need because our greatest need is an eternal need; the forgiveness of sins and to be reconciled with God. And without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22) there is no forgiveness of sin. King Jesus came to die.

And it seems like the crowds began to catch on because by the end of the day the celebration had fizzled out and everyone went home. There was no great speech, no call to arms, no strategic plans; just quite Jesus. And because He wasn’t who they expected, by the end of the week they would be shouting for His death. How’s that for the inauguration celebration of the King of Kings? He rides into town on a donkey; He will be betrayed or deserted by all of His most faithful followers; His crown will be made of thorns; He’ll be decorated with the lashes of a criminal; His last speech will be from the stage of a cross; and the freedom that He offers His followers will come through His own spilled blood. This is our King.

He was not the King they expected; He was a much greater King. He’s not just the King of Israel. He’s the King of the world; of all creation. Jesus is the King of Kings and through His death He will deliver all those who put their faith in Him. If Jesus is not your King, you can receive mercy today because of what Jesus did on the cross. Your sins can be forgiven, your guilt can be washed away, you can be reconciled with God. All you need to do is cry out to the King: “Save me”. Believe in Jesus, repent of your sin and submit to the rule of King Jesus. And you will see how good He is.

What do we do with this? Well, 1st we continue to affirm and establish Jesus as King with our lives. Rom. 12:1-“present your bodies as a living sacrifice…which is your spiritual worship.” 1 Cor 10:31-“do all for the glory of God.” Our obedience is our affirmation that Jesus is our King. We lay down our lives to honor Him (branches).

But we can’t do this alone. Our obedience and self-denial is only possible because of Jesus sacrifice and initiative in our lives to deliver us from the power of sin. And so the only appropriate response for us is to join our voices with the crowd in echoing the prophecy of Zecheriah in chapter 9:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Rejoice! Cry out to our great savior and King. HOSANNA! Remember what Jesus has done. Remember His righteousness and salvation. Remember that you have been rescued from the rule of oppression, bondage, and death and have been adopted into the righteous, good and merciful Rule of the Kingdom of God.

We have the benefit of reading this on the other side of the cross and we know the future. The King has come and we’ve experienced His saving power. But we also know the King is coming again-this time on a (big) horse with a sword. Rev. 19:11-“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” Until that day, we are called to live imitating our humble King-the Servant Savior-in light of His return as the victorious King of King; and do what Zech tells us: Rejoice and behold our King until He comes.