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The Jesus Parade

John 12:12-15



Jesus is now on His way to Jerusalem to present Himself as the Passover Lamb.  He knows what lies ahead for Him.  People are converging on Jerusalem from all directions, 2-3 million of them perhaps.


Imagine the crowded streets everywhere you look.  Up ‘til now Jesus has for the most part avoided the big crowds and kept a low profile.  But now He comes front and center, and allows His disciples to announce Him as the Messiah.  Why?  He’s moving things toward His ultimate rejection by the religious leaders, putting the wheels in motion for His ultimate sacrifice.  And the wheels are still in motion for the end of the world.


From this point on in the week, chaos ensues, it appears, but actually Jesus is in full control, guiding all things.  And today those in Washington just think they are in control, the UN may think the same as those in the European Union, or in Russia, Iran, or in the Middle East.  Those who follow Allah may think they are guiding where the world is going, but God is still on the throne, and the king’s heart is still in the hand of the Lord!


Jesus said in John 10, no man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down.  He wasn’t a victim or a martyr, He is the loving sacrificial Savior!


1.     The King’s Preparation.

All His earthly life He was preparing for the events to come in this week, and it quickly becomes evident that He is ready!


        a.     He has the power to fulfill prophecy.

v. 14        "as it is written" = in the OT.


v. 15        He is fulfilling the prophecy of Zech. 9:9. 

Zechariah 9:9
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.

As Jesus got dressed on this particular morning, He looked into the mirror of prophecy, and He knew that what has already been written is today going to be fulfilled!


One of the greatest evidences/proofs you can give to an unbeliever is the fact of fulfilled prophecies.  No other book in the world has ever dared to predict the future like the Bible has...and never been wrong!  When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled over 300 OT prophecies.  And most of them He had no control over, such as when He would be born and where and how, as well as the events of His death down to even minor details. [mathematical odds illustration]


Skeptical doubters with more degrees than a thermometer say it was just a series of coincidences.  I say, so are the diplomas hanging on their walls!


This is just one more example of how the prophecies about Jesus and His coming to earth were fulfilled...and mark it down, just as surely as they were, the prophecies about His second coming will come to pass just as they have been written.  He didn’t stay dead, and He’s not gonna stay away!  He’s coming back any time on a cloud FOR His own, and following the tribulation He’ll return again in the sky WITH His own.


        b.     He has the power to control nature.

v. 14        Just as God allowed a donkey to speak in the OT, He made another unlikely situation work out, that people would just give their property away to someone they don’t know, for no good reason, as Matthew says.  Further, Mark’s gospel says this donkey had never been ridden before.  Does this tell you anything, you who know about animals?

ill.--on vacation one year my wife had an opportunity to ride a horse, and she was very excited.  Well, as soon as she got on, the horse started going round and round in circles, and she was trying to hang on but slipped and was falling off the side, screaming, with a crowd of onlookers.  I panicked and didn't know what to do.  Just then the manager of the K-Mart came out and unplugged the little carousel!


This donkey in our text is not tame, and I can tell you you’d have to have dominion over the animals, as their Creator, for this to work out. 

[dominion over water to walk on it / air to float in it / death to rise up from it]

Psalm 8:4-9
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

If you have dominion over nature you will be able to calm a storm, or heal with a touch.  You'll be able to send a fish with a coin in its mouth to a friend so he can pay his taxes!


the King's preparation...


2.     The King’s Presentation.

        a.     Jesus in His lowliness.

This King is on a donkey, not a chariot.  The Roman authorities were used to royalty, but not like this.  The Jews had had kings before, but none so common.  The red carpet is replaced with branches from the trees and the people’s shed clothing. 


No doubt some scoffed at the Jesus parade..."Some king this is!" they may have said as they watched it go by. 


On the other hand, I imagine Zacchaeus being in the parade saying, I used to be materialistic and dishonest, but no more...and there’s the man that changed me.  Bartimaeus could say I once was blind but now I see.  Lazarus could say, I was dead, and THAT man was my resurrection!  Mary Magdalene could say, I was filthy, and He made me pure!  The maniac of Gadara could be in the parade, and he’s a different man now, but the crowd still thinks he must be crazy to follow this guy.  Beggars, harlots, outcasts could have marched with Him along the route, singing His praises while onlookers made fun of such a bunch. 


And our world laughs still today at us, and what they consider a donkey circus, but I for one am proud to be a part of the Jesus parade!  I was blind, a beggar, and outcast, but He saved me!  Like Paul I want to say out loud, I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ!  And such were some of you!

        You need to decide if you want to be in the world's parade or the Jesus parade.  You can't have it both ways.  If you want to be in the Jesus parade, you'll need to be willing to share in His lowliness.


"The old rugged cross...its shame and reproach GLADLY bear!"


His lowliness...


        b.     Jesus in His loftiness.

v. 12-13   "Hosanna" means "Lord, save us now!"  They are recognizing His 'Messiahship'.  Then they go on to call Him their King.  But is He truly?

        These are quotes from Psalm 118.  Not all of these are dedicated followers.  Many of these are fickle crowd followers who in a few days will cheer on his crucifixion!  Even His most dedicated followers will flee the scene then.


Don’t worry about what the crowd says.  Remember, the crowd [majority] is usually wrong.  Keep following Jesus, even if you stand alone!  [school / home / work]

The crowd will proclaim you a hero one minute and a zero the next.  But you can know who you are whether they see it or not.  And Jesus wasn’t lifted up w/ pride by this reception, any more than He was angered by their later deception.  He knew Who He was, and that some of them would truly believe.  Jesus went from hero to zero in nothing flat...and He did it for love!


ill.-- In 1980 a young man from Rwanda was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made- I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving & dwarfed goals.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me & when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.”


I'm not ashamed to be a part of the Jesus parade! 

And as surely as He came that day to purchase His kingdom, the King is coming again to bring it all home!

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