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What is the Meaning of Palm Sunday covers the dramatic conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders. This sermon lesson reveals how Jesus purposely forced His enemies to act. 

What Is The Meaning Of Palm Sunday

Harmony Of The Gospels Series-34, Mark 11

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ

Our one-year journey through the life of Jesus is reaching it's climax in what's popularly called "Passion Week", the last week before Jesus is crucified, but won't stay dead. Over the next 6 lessons, we'll cover some of the highlights of this last week. We could spend a year and not completely cover all the events and their meaning, so, if it seems a bit rushed, you'll understand. This lesson covers the installation of the new King of Israel and His first acts as King. Many hundreds of years before, the Scriptures foretold of a Ruler who's Kingdom would never end, One who would bless all nations and lead all nations. This week we study the day that marks the beginning of His kingdom, but something doesn't seem right.

Everyone expected a military ruler, like the Judges of old, who would protect Israel and defeat all her enemies. Instead, Jesus comes out, "in your face" and attacks the existing rulers of Israel, the religious leaders, the Priests, Pharisees and the religious Lawyers. He flaunts His credentials as the true King of Israel, and attacks at the heart of the religious leaders' stronghold…the money. Jesus removed any doubt the religious leaders had about killing Him. He ushers in a whole new kingdom, a Spiritual Kingdom…but first, He has some unfinished business with the worldly kingdom of Israel. We're studying Mark 11, so please stop here and read the entire chapter so you'll understand what we're talking about. In our study today, and for the next several weeks, Jesus is making it clear to everyone:

The time is here when we no longer worship in a place, but in spirit and in truth.

1. The King: This was not a "humble entry" as many would like to portray it, but a Royal Entry as the new King of Israel. Many, if not most commentaries and preachers like to say how lowly Jesus was, to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Well, the lowly didn't have a donkey to ride…they walked. Zech 9:9 says He was gentle, yes, but it also says He's their righteous King who brings salvation. No one at that time missed the prophetic symbol represented by Jesus' entry on a donkey's colt. He was proclaiming Himself the Messiah, the promised King, who would free Israel and bring everlasting peace. The people recognized His gesture and began to shower the road with their blankets and branches. They began to yell praises to Him, which the religious leaders protested. Why would they protest their Messiah? Because they had cushy positions of honor and authority, allowed them by the existing power structure. They had a good thing goin' and they didn't want a new work of God to mess things up. Jesus' very existence threatened their whole gravy train. Ever wonder how things might have been for everyone in the world if the leaders at that time had chosen to honor Him and declare Him King? Jesus said He had longed to gather Jerusalem under His wing like a hen gathers her chicks. Even this proclamation of love brought criticism from the religious leaders, but the people considered Him King.

Jesus, as King, stood in sharp contrast to King Herod, the current King. Herod's family had climbed to and held power through murder, intrigue and strongly maintained political ties to the Roman Empire. His predecessor had killed all the male babies under 2 years old, in an effort to kill Jesus as a baby, and prevent Him from growing up to become King. Jesus gained power by following God, healing the sick and raising the dead…by teaching people to love. Herod was King to serve and enrich himself. Jesus was King to serve God, and to bless everyone who would accept His blessing. He maintained no political ties, held no wealth, power or position in a worldly sense…yet He claimed to be King. It was more than a claim. It was and is fact…Jesus is King of the only kingdom that matters, the spiritual Kingdom…the Kingdom of God. Sadly, by their actions, the religious leaders proved they didn't believe in God's Kingdom, even as a Spiritual reality. That's probably why their work was spiritually fruitless.

Continued at What Is The Meaning Of Palm Sunday-2

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