Luke 19:36-40 And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out."
Many things happen in the course of life, some of them become the stories we tell. What kind of stories do we tell? Well, suppose you went to school with someone who later becomes famous, thatís a good story, for as we tell it, we share in their fame. Suppose you were in a competition with someone who latter goes on to win an Olympic medal, suppose they lost and you won, that too is a good story. Often we donít have many good stories. We may shop on occasion in Sioux Falls, we may even be known by name, but we would never expect the whole of Sioux Falls to come out to greet us, to roll out the welcome just because we are coming to town. They might for a real celebrity, but not for us, and probably not even for the celebrity, if they were regularly in town.
Sometimes, we may go out to greet ordinary people that we know, even people whom we see every day, but its because of a special occasion. For example, if they would be coming home after winning the state tournament, we would greet them to share in the celebration. For although it is a team which wins, it is the whole town that celebrates.
So, who is this Jesus, and why is his arrival in Jerusalem so important? Heís not a sports figure, he has not just won a championship, and heís not really a celebrity. Why then all this fuss? What does it mean? It might have been different if this was the 1st time he had been here, but he had been here many times before, he had taught in the temple, healed the sick.
While there were many remarkable thing that Jesus had done, and while he was a remarkable teacher, this great greeting is not about what he had done, rather this is a greeting in expectation. It is a greeting in light of what all the people expected him to do now. All along Jesus had been teaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand, and for some reason the crowd has come to believe that now was the time, for the Kingdom of God to arrive.
We know something about arrivals, for there are signs around that spring may have finally arrived, not only is the weather improved, the snow is gone, but the grass is turning green, and all the gophers are out and running. But Jesus arrival and the Kingdom of God is something bigger than spring. For the Kingdom of God, is God re-establishing his rule over and among mankind. It is God coming to save, destroying the wicked, and rescuing the righteous.
Is there opposition to God coming as King? Yes, but in this battle, the armies are not sent forth to fight, just the 2 rulers, and the result is peace in heaven and on earth, peace because Satan, the ruler of this world is about to be defeated, Jesus will conquer Satan, and death, and the whole world will be subject to Him. Jesus is welcomed as the one going into battle, as one who would win for all the victory over sin, over death, and over the devil. And in winning the victory, would bring the peace of God to earth and to all.
How did they know? In the same way that the signs tell us that spring is at hand, so all the signs pointed to him as the long promised Messiah, who would bring peace, and would bring the Kingdom of God. And if the crowd had been silent, the stones themselves would cried out the greeting. The question for us today is rather simple? Are we ready to have a King, and is there room in our hearts for Jesus to reign, will we let him be our Lord, and Lord of all? For the King is coming, to save his subjects and to punish all who oppose him, for he will be Lord of all.
If there is one thing that troubles me is that although we all know the outcome, some still choose the loosing side, some will not hear the Word, will not repent of their sins, will not accept the gift of faith, and cannot rejoice in the gift of forgiveness that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We pray that the love of God might melt these cold hearts, so that all might believe and be saved in Jesus Christ. Amen.