See, Your King Comes To You!

See, Your King Comes to You!

Zechariah 9:9-12; Luke 19:28-40

 

More than a 100 years ago, two sportsmen were sailing along the coasts of Scotland. They anchored their boat at Inverness and went ashore to explore the countryside. At the end of the day they were lost and decided to try and find lodging before nightfall. They knocked on the door of a humble cottage and requested a meal, bed, and offered to pay, of course. The farmer looked at the two men with suspicion and sent them away and they went next door. This time the owner welcomed them and gave them a warm meal and bed for the night. Only in the morning did the host discover that one of his guests was Edward, Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward V. Imagine the shame and regret of the first farmer who refused to recognize and open the door to his future king. Yet, this is what we do all the time. The King comes to us and He finds Himself unwelcomed. Today’s message is taken from Zechariah 9 and Luke 19, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The two Scriptures tell of the occasion of Jesus’ entering into Jerusalem. As I think about Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, I would like to make two short observations this morning. These two simple thoughts took my heart as I was thinking about the Triumphal Entry:

 

First: The Humility of the Coming King

Unlike the Rulers of His day, Roman Emperors and Kings of ancient kingdoms, Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord of lords and King of kings, entered Jerusalem on a donkey. The donkey is not a very pompous animal. It is not very awe-inspiring. It is utilitarian. It is a work animal, not a party animal. It is not very expensive, not something you associate with wealth and riches. It is the animal for common people. Jesus, however, did not even come riding on His own donkey. He had to find a donkey that belonged to somebody else. When the King of kings came to His city, He came in poverty and humility.

 

Jesus of Nazareth is a different kind of king. He makes no display of His great power. He makes a display of His humility. He makes a display of His poverty. He makes a display of His lowliness. He comes devoid of power, without any army, not displaying any wealth. He comes on a donkey. He is a different kind of king. He does not come to be served, but to serve. He does not come to create a distance between Himself and His people. He comes to create nearness. He comes to us when we fail to pursue Him. He does not demand of us that we stretch ourselves to the uttermost, so that perhaps we can be deemed worthy of meeting Him. Rather, He comes to meet us wherever we are. Your king is coming to you, the prophet said. Your king is coming to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey.

 

The king comes to us, humble. And what could be more humble than this king coming as a little baby laid in a manger, an animal’s feed trough, where even a donkey might feed? From His lowly birth to His humble ride, the coming of Christ goes against expectations and outward appearances. It’s still that way today. Christ comes to us in lowly means. In a little church, through the foolishness of preaching, words of forgiveness, comfort, and strength as though from God – although it doesn’t look like Jesus Himself forgiving, comforting, and strengthening us. But it is. Bread and wine, and some words; this is His Body and Blood, this is forgiveness of sins? Yes, it is. Jesus says so. “See, your king is coming to you, humble.” Through these humble means, your king has so much to give to you. Through these humble means, your king is coming to you.

 

The people at Zechariah’s time were very discouraged. Things didn’t look so glorious. The place was a wreck, and it looked like the turmoil would never end. Maybe we feel like that too. Our lives have been devastated by this or that affliction, maybe even by our own folly. Rebuilding – why bother? It’ll just be something else to come along and mess things up. But when we feel like that, Zechariah’s prophecy, and Matthew’s retelling of it, gives us the encouragement we need. For the Lord remembers His promises. There is a king who will come alongthere is a king who will come againand straighten things out. It may not look like it right now, but this is the affirmation and witness of the Scriptures: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you.”

 

Second: Our King Knows the Details

As I mentioned, in today’s Scriptures, we meet a different kind of king. We meet a king whose power by far exceeds that of any other king. Not only do we meet a king with real power to make people do His bidding; we meet a king who controls every little detail that takes place in the entire universe. Where do we get that? When Jesus sends out His disciples to find the donkey for Him to ride into Jerusalem, He already knows what is going to happen. He tells 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.”

 

Jesus knows about the little problem the disciples will run into when they go to get the donkey. He knows that someone will ask the disciples why they are taking this donkey and her colt, and He instructs the disciples simply to tell them that “the Lord needs them.” “The Lord needs them.” In the Bible, “Lord” is the name for God, as He is the only true lord. He is the only one whose lordship never ends. He is the only one who does not depend on anyone else to remain in power. He is the only one who is truly lord. Jesus shares the name of His Father, just as He shares His majesty and power. That is why He refers to Himself as the Lord and that is why the apostle John in Revelation 16:14; 20:16 calls Him “Lord of lords and King of kings.”

 

Let me tell you a great truth today. Jesus also knows all the details of your life. Sometimes we ask ourselves: does the Lord really care? The people of God felt this way during Isaiah’s time. In Isaiah 40:27 we read, “Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lordmy cause is disregarded by my God?” Friends, this is not true. The Lord knows the details of our journey. The Lord writes to a small church in Asia Minor called Thyatira in Revelation 2:19, “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” The Lord knows the details of your life!

 

Rejoice greatly, people of God! Shout, children of the Most High! See, your King comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey. Your King comes to you in compassion and grace. Your King comes to you and He will walk you through this journey we call life. Your King comes to you and your way is not hidden from His eyes; your cause is not disregarded by your God. This is the bittersweetness of the gospel. Therefore, let’s go and tell it. We are the rest of the story. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

First Presbyterian Church of Elmer

107 Chestnut Street

Elmer, NJ 08318

Meditation Notes (Palm Sunday ~ March 29th, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

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