The previous day, was a small, quiet dinner with Lazarus’ family.
TODAY, it is switched to a huge crowd, big feast – Passover – in Jerusalem.
Passover = first & greatest feast of all feasts. Jews from all over the earth, came to Jerusalem. A Jew’s dream for his life was to observe the Passover in Jerusalem.
This is Passover season – Jesus will be crucified on Passover.
Jesus enters Jerusalem on a young donkey – small, not a horse.
The four gospels all tell this story. Their accounts should be compared. This event is very important.
Jesus sent disciples to the village, told them to untie the donkey they would find there. If someone says something, say, “The Lord needs it.” and we will return it.
This donkey was borrowed.
Jesus wanted to fulfill OT prophecy, it was the one (announcement) event he allowed during his ministry.
Jesus was announcing at this time that he was the Savior, the promised Messiah.
This is the “Triumphal Entry”
What does this mean for Jesus?
1. It is part of his obedience to his Father – fulfilling the prophecy in Zech 9:9.
What does this mean for the Romans?
2. There is no record about their viewpoint, but surely they kept a close watch on that event – the Passover. It was not uncommon for a Jewish nationalist to try to arouse the people.
So, the Romans undoubtedly thought this was that kind of event.
Afterward, they must have laughed.
Compared to the Roman triumphs and celebrations and parades in Rome, this event was nothing.
Whenever a Roman general was victorious, killed 5000 enemies, gained new land, he received “triumph” in Rome – a HUGE parade, like today’s car parades (tic or take parade?)
Compared to that triumph, Jesus’ “triumph” was nothing.
What does this mean to the people of Israel (pilgrims)?
3. Pilgrims welcomed Jesus, and shouted “Hosanna!” Psalm 118:26 – Messianic Psalm. Luke – they shouted “Peace in heaven!” They wanted Jesus to bring them the peace they needed.
While they were doing this, Jesus was weeping. (Luke) When Jesus saw Jerusalem, he wept over Jerusalem.
Jerusalem = “City of Peace” but Jesus saw already what lay ahead for the city, so he wept (war, scattering, troubles, etc).
At his birth, angels declared “Peace on Earth!”
During his ministry, Jesus declared, “War on Earth! Do you think I came to bring peace? No, division.”
There is only peace in heaven.
How can we find such peace on earth? Only found in Jesus.
What does this event mean to Pharisees?
4. “The whole world has gone after him.” This is exaggeration and prophecy – because one day, the whole world WILL stand before Jesus to be judged for their deeds. They were anticipating some kind of revolt during this season. They feared Jesus would perform some miracles and capture the hearts of the restless people.
How little they understood the heart of Jesus.
Jesus, the Passover Lamb must be sacrificed
1 Cor 11:5? – Jesus our Passover Lamb
Exodus – the Passover meant death, judgment to those who opposed God, but life to those who were with God
1 Cor 1:18 – cross = foolishness to those who are perishing
People today can realize that they worked their whole lives to accomplish nothing – there is still the final judgment.
The heart of truth (v. 20-22)
Greeks = Gentiles
These Gentiles wanted to hear the truth.
No other gospel tells of this incident. It is very fitting to find it only in the book of John, because it is the book written to show the truth of Christianity in a way that even Gentiles can appreciate and understand.
John, theme = Jesus is the Savior of the WORLD – not only Jews. (John 3:16)
So, the Samaritans had already recognized him as the Savior. So, Jesus gives life to the world, and gives his life for the world.
The first people who visited and worshiped Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh were Gentiles (the Magi from the east). And now, Gentiles come to hear from Jesus before his death.
Next verses are the heart of the truth. He reveals it before Gentiles – and to you and me.
Jesus did not say, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed, rather glorified. He saw BEYOND the cross to the glory. Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…who for the glory set before him…scorned the shame of the cross, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Main point of this message = the GLORY OF GOD.
How can you glorify God?
If a wheat seed dies, it produces many seeds. Can you count them?
Please be honest with this verse.
If you love your life, you will lose it.
If you hate your life in this world, you will keep it.
My Father honors the one who serves him.
Jesus uses a seed to illustrate great truth.
There is no glory without suffering, victory without surrender, greatness without humility, honor without service, life without death.
We know the secret of the seed.
Can you see the seed? (Apple seed, illustration)
We know the seed itself is very small, very weak, useless, powerless.
If you keep this seed in a beautiful box for safety, security, comfort, what can this seed do? NOTHING. Ten years later, one hundred, NOTHING.
But, this same seed, when it is spread outside and planted, and buried – like in a tomb – on the cold, hard, dark, soil and trampled on by men, this seed starts to penetrate up and down, making roots, branches, leaves, more and more seeds, colors, tastes, fruit, flowers.
This is a miracle! Everybody knows it, but who can explain how?
Mom, “Just because. God makes it, God makes it grow. It’s just the natural order of things.”
Spiritual truth is exactly like this – more than this.
Jesus’ death is the only way we can have life. This is truly true.
One death of one person is the only one way to life for all peoples who believe. (He is the seed).
Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, also to show his power over death.
He can give eternal life because he proved he has power over death.
Also, Bible is the seed to you and us.
If this word of God is on the table, nothing happens.
If this word is planted in my heart, this word becomes alive, powerful, active, and this word can do something great, wonderful in us and through us.
We are God’s children.
WE are seeds to this world, in this world.
We look weak, small. We are dependent. We have life in us (Jesus’ life). This life can NEVER be accomplished unless we surrender to God and allow him to plant us.
We should die to ourselves so that we may live to him and his glory.
We must remake our priorities.
If we love our lives, we will lose the life we want to maintain.
If we are true disciples, we must be willing to suffer and experience rejection.
How much do we reject rejection? How much do we compromise?
To follow Jesus = radical lifestyle change.
= to go where Jesus went, not the way of earthly power and honor, but through humility, suffering, even death.
Where’s your passion?
What are your goals, interests, career choices? Changed? Or same as before.
Love your life = lose it
Hate your life = keep it
Everything Jesus did was for the glory of God. We likewise should do everything we do to the glory of God.
Do you want real joy? Real peace?
Put Jesus FIRST in your life.
Do you call “My Savior! My Lord!”
That MEANS you’ve decided to put him #1. If you put him #2, it’s cheating him and cheating yourself.
If you do not want to put him #1,
DO NOT call him “Lord” just “Friend”
Not “king, God” just “Good teacher”
“My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
Real peace, real joy, real security is found in serving the Lord.
This honor from God will only PARTLY be experienced in this life. It will only be fulfilled in heaven. This is our final hope.
We can derive real peace, security, encouragement by understanding and remembering that our God judges and remembers each service we do in His name.
1 Cor 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the service of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Our service is never in vain.
Bless us so that his final honor may be his, not ours.
Matthew 25? – “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come! Share your Master’s joy!”
No matter how much we do in this world for God, those are just a FEW things in God’s eyes. In heaven, God will bless us to do many more things for him.