Saturday, April 04, 2009


Who is this man? When we look at Jesus riding into Jerusalem we know who he was. He was completely other from every other person there that day. He was the Son of God. He was the one who set aside the glories of heaven to become a man. He was the Son of God whom the angels worshiped and adored. He was the infant at whom the angels gazed from heaven in wonder to observe in the stable in Bethlehem. He was the Word made flesh who came to dwell among us. He had been with God the Father throughout eternity. He created all that is. That man sitting on that donkey was no mere man. He was the God-man. He was fully God and fully man. He came to earth at the will of his Father to fulfill the prophecies. He came bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth. Who is this? This is Jesus, the Son of God!

Who is this? The people who saw Jesus ride into Jerusalem that day did not know what he had come to do. They hoped he had come to establish his kingdom and rid them of Rome. But he had come to do far more than rid them of Rome! He had come to rid them of their sin! As Jesus rode into Jerusalem he came as the Savior of the world! Thousands of people hailed him! As they watched him come into the city they had no idea that Jesus was involved in a cosmic, spiritual transaction! They had no hint that he had come to Jerusalem to die for the sins of the world. In less than a week all of these adoring people would forget this day. They would cry out for his crucifixion. And to the cross Jesus would go. He was about to do something unimaginable! He would take the sins of men upon his shoulders and claim them as his own. Bearing the sins of his followers, he would give them his own righteousness. Jesus would suffer the excruciating punishment for sin that was not his. These were the terms of the spiritual transaction to which he had agreed. This was the very reason for which Jesus had come to earth! Who is this? He is Jesus, the Savior of the world!

The people who saw Jesus ride into Jerusalem in triumph that day did not really know who he was. He only looked like a humble, rural rabbi. This was the appearance Jesus took on when he humbled himself and took on the form of a servant. This was the last time they would see Jesus coming to them in humility and offering peace. The next time he enters Jerusalem will be very different! John writes about it in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

This is how Jesus will appear when he returns! He will come as one who is king over all kings and as lord of all lords. He will not come offering peace and life but judgment and death. He will not be alone; he will be accompanied by the armies of heaven. He will conquer and enter his city as the victorious King!

Who is this? This is the Lord! It is hard for Americans to grasp the significance of lordship because we are and always have been freemen. We hardly understand that most of the world is not like us. Our British founders were not like us. Although they may not have been slaves, they owed their livelihoods and allegiance to lords and kings who owned their lands and the right to their military services. These lords had the right to a percentage of their produce. Whatever the lord asked for he received. People did not have rights. They did not have the option to refuse their lords. We have no lords over us. We are unaccustomed to being told what to do. It is not easy for us to understand that we don’t have rights and are not free to do whatever we want to do.

Jesus is our Lord. What does that mean for us? It means that we live not to serve ourselves but to serve him. Our lives are not our own. Our time is not our own. Our energies are to be spent for him and not on our own pleasure. We owe him our lives, our resources, and our all. It means that his commands are not suggestions. Jesus is Lord! That means that we ask him what he would like us to do. It means we will wait as long as is necessary to hear his answer. It means we will leap to do his will. This may be difficult for us to understand. It may be something we have to learn. But it is not optional! When we think of Jesus riding in humility into the city of Jerusalem we must see him as the lord who has conquered our hearts! Who is this? This Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords!


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