The Events of Palm Sunday
INTRODUCTION: Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. Christians around the world recognize Palm Sunday as the day Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. On this day, prophecy was fulfilled; the prophet Zechariah had recorded this event some 400 years earlier. In Zech 9:9, he said, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Chapter 12, of the Gospel of John, begins the account of Jesus' final week, which culminates in His death at the end of the week and His resurrection on the first day of the week, Easter Sunday. The events of this week actually begin on Saturday evening with a dinner in the town of Bethany, about 2 miles southeast of Jerusalem.
Following the dinner, Jesus makes His way to the city of Jerusalem for His triumphal entry. This was a time when all Israel would be gathered at Jerusalem for the Passover. It is said that there may have been as many as a half of million people present--every male within 25 miles of Jerusalem was required to be in attendance for the week of Passover.
ILLUS: During the nineteenth century it was Chancellor Bismarck of Prussia who entered into the City of Jerusalem riding a white horse. So great were the number of soldiers and officials is said that that an entire section of the city wall had to be removed.1
On Palm Sunday, someone far greater than Chancellor Bismark rode into Jerusalem. As Jesus entered through the Eastern Gate, throngs of people greeted Him, shouting and cheering, casting Palm branches in His path. They cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest" (Matt 21:9).
This was no ordinary day, for on this day, Palm Sunday, Jesus would initiate a week that would forever change the course of history.
Allow me to give you a brief outline this morning, as we consider the events of that special day, 2,000 years ago--Palm Sunday.
I. The Place
II. The People
III. The Purpose
I. THE PLACE
In vs. 12, it says, "On the next day much people were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem."
Jesus came to Jerusalem--the beloved city of David. In Psalm 87:3, Jerusalem it is mentioned as the "City of God." In the book of Revelation we know it to be the City of Gold. In Zech. 8:3, it is called the "City of Truth." In Psalm 42:8, the Psalmist wrote, "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" There is no other city on earth that compares with the city of Jerusalem.
ILLUS: Isaac Watts, the famous 18th century Hymn writer, compared the Christian's journey through life to a soldier's march to Zion, another name for Jerusalem.
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