Share This Episode
Renewing Your Mind R.C. Sproul Logo

The Triumphal Entry

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2023 12:01 am

The Triumphal Entry

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1345 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

May 28, 2023 12:01 am

As the people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with loud cheers, He knew the suffering that awaited Him. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in the gospel of Luke to explain Christ's fulfillment of a prophecy about the King who would come to the city on a donkey.

Get R.C. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on the Gospel of Luke for Your Gift of Any Amount:

Don't forget to make your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.


When suddenly Jesus appeared riding this donkey, the crowd gathered in a huge multitude, and they were excited.

It was a confetti ticker tape parade as far as they were concerned. The Messiah has come, and He's coming now to take His place as the King of the Jews, as the King of Israel. Huzzah! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, meek and mild on the back of a donkey, with the crowds cheering, Hosanna! What was He thinking?

Was He contemplating that they were receiving Him as their King, or was He considering the fact that He would soon lay His life down for His people by way of execution? Hi, I'm Nathan W. Bingham, and thank you for joining us for this Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind. So what was Jesus thinking, and why did He ride into Jerusalem, of all animals, on the back of a young donkey?

Well, let's hear from Dr. Sproul. This morning we're going to continue our study of the gospel according to Saint Luke. We're in chapter 19, and we'll be looking again at the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as we find it in Luke 19, beginning at verse 28 and reading through verse 40. I would ask the congregation please to stand for the reading of the Word of God. And when He had said these things, He went on ahead going up to Jerusalem.

And when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of His disciples saying, Go into the village in front of you. When on entering, you will find a colt tied on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you why are you untying it, you shall say this, The LORD has need of it. So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owner said to them, Why are you untying the colt? And they said, The LORD has need of it. And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

And as He rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. And as He was drawing near already on the way down the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of 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. He said, Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, Teacher, rebuke your disciples.

And He answered, I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out. Again, we have been blessed to hear nothing less than the very Word of God as this text was superintended and supervised by God the Holy Spirit in its original writing by Luke. And I ask that this morning as you hear the words of the text, that you receive them with the full weight of God's authority.

Please be seated. Let us pray. Again, our Father and our God, we look to You because Your Word is truth, the very truth not only that redeems us but by which we are sanctified. And we ask now that the Holy Spirit might be present in our immediate midst that He may illumine for us the meaning of this text and that He would use it to change our lives, to pierce our souls, penetrate our hearts, and to change our minds. We ask these things in Jesus' name.

Amen. I thought that I would skip over this passage since I've already preached on it on the occasion of Palm Sunday, and I thought I was in such a hurry to finish the gospel of Luke since we've been moving at such a rapid pace that it might be expedient to just skip over this. But on second thought I said, no, this is so integral to the whole narrative that Luke has been setting before us that even though it's not Palm Sunday, the message and content of this text is still very important for our understanding of the person and work of Christ.

And I'm going to ask the question briefly, what's going on here? We're all familiar with this account of people rejoicing and celebrating in the triumphal entry of Jesus as they were waving the palm branches to and fro and crying out with great joy, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. But again, my question is, why did Jesus do this? Why the triumphal entry into Jerusalem? It's interesting to me that scholars have examined the manifold prophecies that are found throughout the Scriptures that had their fulfillment in the historical Jesus. Some scholars have counted over a thousand, as many as twelve hundred prophecies with respect to the coming Messiah that were clearly and definitively fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus. In fact, that very truth of the fulfillment of specific prophecies should be enough to stop the mouths of the most obstreperous skeptics that can be found in this world.

That should be proof enough for the claims of Christ to being the Son of God and the coming Messiah. But what is unique about this particular experience is that Jesus goes out of His way actually to orchestrate the fulfillment of a particular prophecy. He didn't do anything extraordinary to make sure that He was born in Bethlehem according to the prophecy of Micah.

That had all to do with the providence of God and the decree of Caesar and Augustus, when He called that people should go back to the city of their birth in order to be enrolled for purposes of taxation. That baby Jesus, touching His humanity, knew nothing of that imperial decree, and so He did nothing to purposefully fulfill the prophecy of the circumstances of His birth. But here now, as an adult, Jesus takes matters into His own hands, and He's aware of the Old Testament prophecy that is found in Zechariah where we read at that time, "'Weep not, daughters of Jerusalem, behold, your King is coming to you lowly and riding upon a donkey.'" Jesus knew the text. He knew the prophecy.

And so He goes out of His way to make certain that all of the details of that prophecy are exactly and precisely fulfilled as had been spoken hundreds of years prior to this event. And so He says to His disciples, "'Go over to this place where you will find the people who own a donkey, a colt of which you have never been ridden, and untie that colt and bring it to Me.'" And if the owners balk at such a suggestion and have certain reservations about losing at least temporarily the possession of their personal property and want to know why you're untying this donkey, you just say to them, "'The Lord has need of it.'" And so they went as they were instructed by Jesus, and they came to the owners of the donkey, and they began to untie it, and the owner said, "'What are you doing?'" And as Jesus instructed them, they explained to Him, "'The Lord has need of it.'" Okay, if that's the case, then be our guest.

Take the donkey. For whatever the Lord needs, we are perfectly happy to supply. But again, I ask, why all this extensive activity in order in order to prepare the staging of a fulfillment of prophecy? I think we have to understand that in terms of the life of Jesus, there is this major parenthesis that takes place between His birth and His death. And that parenthesis has to do with the subject of God's kingdom. Do you recall in recent weeks that we looked at the parable that was presumably given at the home of Zacchaeus in Jericho, the parable of the minas that Jesus explained about this leader who had gone off to be called a king, and in his absence he gave certain finances to be invested wisely to his servants. And we are told by Luke why Jesus told that parable. And among the reasons given for that parable, Luke tells us, it was because Jesus understood that His kingdom was not going to come immediately.

And He also understood that vast multitudes of people expected the coming of that kingdom immediately. And so He gave that whole parable to explain the idea of a delay between Jesus going away and His return to finally establish this kingdom. And so here again, right after the parable is taught, we see Jesus orchestrating this dramatic event that has everything to do with the concept of a kingdom that is coming. You remember at the time of His birth that in Matthew's record of the nativity of Jesus, He tells the incident of the coming of the magi who saw this extraordinary star that provoked this lengthy journey of the magi that was about 500 miles in pursuit of a king that would be born among the Jews.

And recall that the testimony of the magi once they arrived first in Jerusalem was they were trying to locate the final destiny of the direction they had been given by the movement of this astronomical phenomenon. And they inquired with this question, where is He who is born King of the Jews? And when Herod understood what was going on in this particular narrative, he inquired of those who were seeking the birth of this new king where he would be found. And he asked his scholars to look up the Scriptures to tell him where the location would be of the coming Messiah. And they came to the book of Micah, and the scholars informed Herod saying the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Remember, thou Bethlehem, though thou be small among the tribes of Judah, yet out of thee will come the one who will be born King of the Jews. And so Herod hypocritically and maliciously gave directions to the magi on how to find the town of Bethlehem, which was about six miles away from Jerusalem.

And he said, when you find him, come back and tell me exactly his location that I can come and worship him as well. This Herod who had already killed three of his sons and one wife had no intention of coming to give homage to the newborn king. There's nothing that rankled King Herod more than the thought of somebody else succeeding in kingship over his succession plan that he had devised. And so after the wise men left and found the Christ child in the manger, they were warned not to go back to Herod, learning that Herod intended to come and assassinate the Christ child.

And so they fled from the presence of Herod. But Herod had a plan B. His first plan, plan A, was to go directly to Bethlehem, find this baby, and assassinate it abruptly. But when that plan failed, he decided to issue a decree that every child under two years of age would be executed in the environs of Bethlehem, which is recorded in Scripture under the title, The Slaughter of the Innocents. And so we know that when Jesus was born, there was already an impending catastrophe because he was born, because he was born to be a king.

And this King Herod did everything in his power to exterminate him. Fast forward in this parenthesis from the birth of Jesus now to the end of his life, where the issue of kingship is still central. And you will recall that before Jesus left for Jerusalem and set his face steadfastly toward that place, after the experience of transfiguration, he said to his disciples, The Son of Man now must be betrayed. He must be given over to the hands of the Gentiles, where he must now suffer and die. And of course, Peter, as well as the other well as the other disciples, would have none of that, saying, No, no, Lord, that can't be.

On which occasion, our Lord said to Simon, Get behind me, Satan. I have a destiny to fulfill. I must go to Jerusalem. The Son of Man must suffer and die. And so with all of the grim anticipation of what was before them, the disciples with heavy hearts marched with Jerusalem step after step from the north of Galilee to Judea to see what fate awaited Jesus. And so now the hour has come, and Jesus knew very well what awaited him in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem. He knew very well what was going to take place in only hours from that Sunday morning when he came in triumph into the city, and he said to his disciples, Go find this donkey. I'm going to mount that animal, and I'm going to ride as a king into the city, not as a king on a war horse steed, but one who is meek and lowly riding upon the donkey. And the people had read their Bibles, too. And when suddenly Jesus appeared riding this donkey, the crowd gathered in a huge multitude, and they were excited.

It was a confetti ticker tape parade as far as they were concerned. The Messiah has come, and he's coming now to take his place as the King of the Jews, as the King of Israel. Huzzah!

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And they've put their garments in the path in front of him as he rode on this donkey. And as they're screaming and shouting and rejoicing, I can only guess what was going on in Jesus' mind. He knew where he was going, and he knew what was waiting for him at the end of the week. He knew he was going to be betrayed. He knew he was going to be turned over to the Romans. He knew that he would stand in front of Pontius Pilate, and that Pilate would, in a few days, look him in the eye and say, Is it true? Are you a king?

Are you the King of the Jews?" To which Jesus responded and said, You said it. And then he went on to explain, But my kingdom is not of this world. And he went on to suggest to Pontius Pilate that he had no power over him.

He said, If I called upon my angels and my disciples, they would rise up right now and turn your palace into the dust. But like a lamb, as was led to the slaughter, instead he opened not his mouth and had a conversation with Pilate about the nature of truth. You don't think Jesus knew what was lying ahead of him when he was on the back of that donkey, riding down the hill from the Mount of Olives in that circuitous path down through the Valley of Kidron and there to come to Jerusalem with all the screaming and yelling and acclamation and every Pharisee furious and plotting his destruction. Jesus didn't think for a moment that there was going to be a revolution and that he was going to seize power and be established and crowned as the King of the Jews.

No, no, no, no. The people didn't get it, but he got it, and he understood it. And he just told them a parable that the kingdom was not going to come immediately, but they didn't get that either. And so though there were smiles abounding on the faces of the crowd, and they were cheering in ecstasy, Jesus was riding with a heavy heart, knowing what his destiny was in the hours that lay before him. And to add insult to injury, when the people were cheering with gusto, the Pharisee said, the Pharisee said, these are your disciples. You're their master.

How long to shut up? Your people are dumber than a box of rocks, or something to that extent. We have that expression, don't we? That somebody is dumber than a box of rocks. How dumb is a box of rocks? Jesus knew the answer to that question because, touching His divine nature, He made the rocks. There wasn't a stone on the pathway between Bethany and Jerusalem that the divine Logos had not formed and shaped by the power of His creation. They were His stones, His rocks, and He understood that the whole creation groaned in agony, waiting for the redemption that Christ and Christ alone would bring, that just Jesus was not just the King of the Jews or the Savior of the Jews. He was the King of the cosmos, the cosmic King that the stupid animals recognized that the very people didn't want. And then going back to that parable of the one who went into the far journey to be called a King, at the end of that parable He said, and judgment will come on those who hate Me and do not want Me to reign over them. Who was dumber than the box of rocks but those who refused to have Christ as their King? And so Jesus said, you don't understand, Pharisees, that if My disciples are silent, even the stones will cry out. The stones that have no tongue, the stones that have no mouths, the stones that have no lips will begin to scream, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. This is our King, the King of all creation. But we know that stones don't have mouths or lips.

They are inanimate objects. Go back to Genesis to the killing of Abel by Cain, and God came to him. Where is Abel your brother? I can't see him.

What have you done with him? But his blood cries out to me from the earth. Metaphor, hyperbole, perhaps. Or did that blood have a voice that could be heard by Almighty God? In the book of Revelation, the saints and the martyrs cry from behind the altar with respect of the blood of Abel and all of the martyrs who have gone before or since, whose blood cries to the heavens about their slaughter. How much blood in our own day is screamed from the lips of the infants who were silenced in their mothers' wombs, whose cries are heard by God Himself and by His King? Do with me what you will, Pharisees, Pilate, Caesar. But on the last day, the last word will be spoken by my Father and all whom the Father has given to me, who will cry out, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

That was R.C. Sproul, and thank you for joining us for this Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind. What we heard today was a sermon that Dr. Sproul preached while he served at St. Andrew's Chapel in central Florida, and while he was there, he preached through entire books of the Bible, and those sermons formed the basis for his expositional commentary series. Today, we heard a sermon from Luke's Gospel, and so we're making Dr. Sproul's commentary on Luke available to you for your donation of any amount. When you give your gift today at, you'll receive digital access to this expositional commentary.

You'll find that it's easily searchable, you can increase the size of the type, and keep it with you wherever you go, on your phone or your tablet. So give your gift today at Many of us recall that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, but did you know he also wept over Jerusalem? Why? Well, join us next Sunday here on Renewing Your Mind.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 02:42:22 / 2023-05-28 02:50:54 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime