Open your Bible, if you will, to the eleventh chapter of the gospel of Mark, the eleventh chapter of the gospel of Mark. With this passage, we come to the final week of our Lord’s life and His public ministry. This is the week of the end. The end of this week is the cross and the resurrection. So, in a sense, we only have a week to go in the gospel of Mark. It will, however, take us about six months to preach our way through this week – which is a sad commentary on me; but that’s the way I love to plunge into the detail of the text of Scripture. This should be one of the richest, most enjoyable, most profound, wondrous experiences of our lives to go again through the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The week begins with His arrival in Jerusalem. The year is 30 A.D. by the best chronology, the month is the first Jewish month, Nisan, and the arrival is on the tenth, and the crucifixion is on the fourteenth; and that all matters, because God has established a very firm time table. Importantly, it is the Passover week of that year, and Friday will be the day when tens of thousands of Passover lambs will be slain, none of which can take away anyone’s sin. However, on this Passover, there will be one sacrifice made for sin that will take away the sins of all who have ever believed through all of human history, and it will be the sacrifice of the true Lamb.
The week begins with a very strange event. It begins with what would have to be considered a bizarre event. We call it the triumphal entry; but that is really not an appropriate title to capture what’s going on. I don’t want you to think that this is anything really official. It isn’t official in a Jewish sense, it isn’t official in an earthly sense, and it isn’t official in a heavenly sense.
That is why I’ve titled the message, “The False Coronation of the True King.” There really is no question about Christ, that He is the Messiah, that He is the promised King, that He is the son of David, that He is the one with a right to reign. His lineage checks out, His mother and father both in the line of David. He has all the qualifications. He is the Son of Man, He is the Son of God. He has demonstrated His deity and His full humanity throughout His ministry. He is the true King, but this is a false coronation.
That’s why it’s such a strange event. It is not a true expression of faith. It is not a true expression of praise. It is not a true expression of a claim. And it certainly isn’t God’s coronation any more than it is a true human coronation. What did happen on this day was an odd, bizarre event, not like any other coronation of any king. Let’s read the account, verses 1 to 11.
“As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, and said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter, you’ll find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” You say, “The Lord has need of it”; and immediately he will send it back here.’ They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; they untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, ‘What are you doing untying the colt?’ They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David. Hosanna in the highest!’ Jesus entered Jerusalem and came in to the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, because it was already late.”
That’s a rather inconsequential conclusion to a coronation, wouldn’t you think? It’s because it wasn’t really a coronation. Coronations aren’t humble, they aren’t unexpected. They aren’t unplanned. They aren’t unofficial. They aren’t spontaneous. They aren’t superficial. They aren’t temporary. But this one was all of those.
Coronations are not to be reversed in a few days so that the one exalted and elevated becomes rejected and executed, like this one. This was no real coronation. Let it be said, Jesus is the real King, deserving of all exaltation, all honor, all worship, and all praise. So this is the false coronation of the true King.
The true coronation of Christ has two parts: one has already happened, and one has not. The first phase of the coronation of Christ, the true coronation, occurred at His ascension, when He left this earth, as described in the first chapter of Acts, and ascended into heaven. We are told, by the writer of Hebrews, that He took His seat at the right hand of God. This was His first coronation and it was a heavenly coronation. Philippians 2 says that when He arrived, He not only took His seat at the right hand of God, but He was given a name; and the name that He was given is the name Lord which is the name above every name, and everyone in existence bows to that name. He has already had His heavenly coronation. He is reigning at the right hand of the throne of God. He is the sovereign of heaven and the universe. But He’s not yet had His earthly coronation.
Philippians 2 describes His heavenly coronation, Revelation 19 and 20 describe His earthly coronation. In the future, the Lord Jesus will return to earth, not riding on the colt of a donkey, but riding on a white horse, according to Revelation 19, coming out of heaven, followed by the armies of heaven in white, riding on white horses in a stupendous, unleashing of the glorious holy powers of heaven on the earth, led by Christ. And when He arrives, He will destroy the ungodly in a massive judgment that will sweep across the planet; and then He will establish His throne in Jerusalem, and He will reign there for a thousand years in the millennial kingdom and beyond that forever and ever. Because of His kingdom there will be no end throughout all eternity in the new heaven and the new earth. That’s the earthly coronation of Christ.
This is neither the heavenly coronation of Christ, nor is it the earthly coronation of Christ. It is not a coronation of Christ at all, it is a mock coronation, it is a false coronation, it is a fraud. There are no formalities here in this coronation. There are no dignitaries. There is no regalia. There is no fanfare.
This really is very similar to His birth. In His birth, His mother arrives in Bethlehem in humble obscurity riding on a donkey; here, He arrives in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Yes, He is the true King, King of kings, Lord of lords, Son of Man, Son of God, Messiah, Savior, and no monarch in all human history remotely compares to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is none so magnificent, powerful, wise, sovereign, just, pure, and holy; and all the elite and all the monarchs of all human history collectively together stacked on top of each other wouldn’t go high enough to touch the hem of His all-glorious garment. This is a true King, but this is no coronation.
Verse 1 begins, “And they approached Jerusalem, they approached Jerusalem.” That’s where we have to start. The ministry in Galilee finished. The ministry in Judea finished. Final ministry in Perea on the east side of the Jordan completed, a few weeks in Perea. He crosses the Jordan near Jericho, comes through the town of Jericho, which is the base of the mountain from Jerusalem down into the area of the Dead Sea; and from Jericho, the road ascends to Jerusalem. So He passes through Jericho, heals two blind men, one named Bartimaeus; saves them spiritually. Brings into His kingdom the most hated man in town, Zacchaeus the tax collector.
Having gathered those souls to Himself in Jericho, He then ascends the twenty-five hundred-plus feet up into Jerusalem for Passover week. He is accompanied by His apostles and His disciples, and an entourage of people that has been growing, because He is, after all, the miracle worker, and He’s proven that by what happened in Jericho. He is compressed in the middle of a crowd; they’re in front of Him and behind Him and all sides of Him.
The word has circulated throughout that area and will continue to circulate throughout Jerusalem that He raised one, Lazarus, from the dead. And that is a true miracle, because there was plenty of evidence that he was dead. They held his funeral, he had been dead for days, and there’s plenty of evidence that he’s now alive because he lives in Bethany. So the escalation of this information about the miracle worker of Jesus, led by the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, has this crowd excited, and they’re following Him. They’re enthusiastic as they ascend the hill, because the Passover is the great event of the year. And they approach Jerusalem. And that’s how Mark begins this final week.
His plan: He laid it out back in chapter 10, verse 32: “As they were on the road going to Jerusalem, Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed. He took the twelve aside, began to tell them what was going to happen, ‘We’re going to Jerusalem, up to Jerusalem.’ – from Jericho it’s up – ‘The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests, the scribes. They’ll condemn Him to death, hand Him over to the Gentiles. They’ll mock Him, spit on Him, scourge Him, and kill Him; and three days later, He will rise again.’”
He was not planning a coronation. He was not planning to take His kingdom. He was not planning to attack the Romans. He was not planning to overthrow the Gentile occupying power and liberate Israel. Those were all the things they would expect their Messiah to do. He was coming to be killed by the leaders of Israel themselves, and to die and rise again.
Why? Verse 45 of chapter 10: “The Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” He came to die as a ransom price paid to satisfy the justice of God so that God could offer forgiveness to repentant sinners. Before He will ever come to reign, which is yet in the future, He had to come to die. So this is a false coronation, a premature coronation.
Now up to this point, Jesus had never allowed such an occasion as this. He had never allowed an open, public demonstration declaring Him to be the Messiah. He had never allowed anything like it. In Galilee on one occasion when there were some people who wanted to press Him into sort of taking authority and acting like a king, He fled the scene, because He knew the implications. And the implications were not positive. It was not the way that He would want to establish His purpose, not by taking authority, wielding power, and establishing the kingdom. That would come, and it will come when He returns. This time He came to die.
He didn’t allow this thing to happen, and the reason is because it would precipitate the aggressive action of the leaders who already wanted Him executed. Understand, from the beginning of His ministry the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Him. It started out that way, because the first act that He did when He got to Jerusalem three years before this was go into the temple and attack the place and dismantle it, and discredit their entire religious system. And then He spent three years discrediting their theology, and undermining their interpretations, misinterpretations of Scripture. It was an all-out assault on false apostate Judaism. They despised Him, they wanted Him dead.
Any kind of massive demonstration that made them think His popularity was expanding would then be a threat to the leaders and would only hurry up their act of murder against Him. So He never let it happen. But here He lets it happen. Here the real planner by divine providence is God, because this is the week He must die; and therefore, their desire to kill Him must be escalated to its fever pitch.
They weren’t really prepared to execute Him on the Passover. In fact, the New Testament tells us they didn’t want to arrest Him and execute Him on the Passover because they were afraid of the people. But they didn’t have a choice. They were so fearful of His escalating power that they sped up their murderous intent, which is exactly the way God wanted it, so that on Friday on the Passover, He would be the Passover Lamb.
This is a false coronation for a purpose that none of them would ever have understood. It is strangely designed by God, not as a legitimate exaltation, but to inflame His enemies at exactly the precise time to get things moving so there would be time for a trial and an execution on exactly the right day. He wanted this display with the greatest possible mass of people, the largest crowd possible, so that His enemies would be severely threatened and would execute Him on the divine schedule.
It is estimated that as many as two million people would be in Jerusalem at a Passover even in ancient days. And one of the ways we get at that is ten years after this, 40 A.D., there’s a record in Jewish history that two hundred and sixty-thousand lambs were slain at that Passover – over a quarter of a million. Usually there was one lamb per ten people. That would put it at 2.6 million people possibly. It was a massive crowd. The crowd around Him must have been in the hundreds of thousands. This was the time and this was the place to allow this to agitate His enemies so that He would die in God’s perfect timing.
Let me give you a little of the chronology. It’s Saturday, and Jesus arrives in Bethany. Bethany is two miles east of Jerusalem, over the top of the Mount of Olives, a little village. I’ve been there; I was there one time many years ago. An Arab lady tried to sell me her baby because I was a rich American, she thought.
Jesus went into the little town of Bethany because He had some friends there – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – who is now alive from the dead. By the way, Bethany is no longer called Bethany, it’s called Al-Eizariya; it’s named after Lazarus.
It was Saturday when He arrived, according to John 12, because it’s six days. It says, “Six days before Passover He arrives.” Six days before Passover is Saturday. He comes into the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus.
It was an interesting experience in the house because Mary anoints His feet. Remember that in John 12? And who objected? Who had trouble with her anointing His feet with rich perfume? Judas did because He held the bag, and he was ready to get out, and he wanted to get as much money as he could, and he couldn’t imagine such a waste of expensive ointment. So that was Saturday.
The next day would be Sunday. And the next day, according to John 12 – and by the way, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all record this event of His entry. But in John 12, it says, “A large number of Jews came to Bethany the next day.” So on Sunday a large number of Jews came to Bethany. And it says, “They came to see Jesus and Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.” Now you get the story. The city is swelling with Passover pilgrims. The word is spreading about this guy that was raised from the dead. He is a curiosity. So people are walking the easy two miles because they want to see this man and they want to see Jesus.
This is a problem for the leaders. So John 12 tells us the chief priests took counsel – get this – to kill Lazarus. I mean, how hard-hearted are you when you don’t even deny that the guy was raised from the dead, you just try to kill him again? That might seem like a feudal thing to do. So, it’s on Sunday that all these Jews come to Bethany, to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to see Lazarus, to see Jesus. It is now Monday, the next day after the crowds came to Bethany, that Jesus approached Jerusalem; that’s Monday. I don’t want to mess with tradition, but it’s Palm Monday, okay? Palm Monday.
And by the way, that is really a very, very important chronological note, because if you have Him coming in on Sunday, you have one day in the middle of the week where there’s no information about anything; and they call it “silent Wednesday.” I don’t know about that. You mean the last week of the life of our Lord and you’ve got a whole day, and there’s no comment about anything that goes on there? You take care of silent Wednesday if you get the right chronology of His coming in on Monday.
Furthermore – I love the beauty of this – according to the Mosaic Law, a sacrificial lamb for Passover was to be selected and set apart on the tenth of Nisan. The tenth was Monday, and that’s when the sacrificial lamb arrived. And the sacrificial lamb was to be crucified on the fourteenth, and that’s Friday when He was crucified. So both in accord with Mosaic Law, and according to the calendar, He came on Monday, He returned to Bethany Monday night, came back into Jerusalem on Tuesday, cursed the fig tree, cleansed the temple, went back to Bethany. On Wednesday, He entered in to controversy with the leaders of Israel, gave His sermon on His second coming; and Judas planned his betrayal. On Thursday, His disciples prepared for the Passover. He spent time in the garden of Gethsemane; He was arrested, He was tried. Friday He was crucified, Saturday He was in the grave, and Sunday He rose again. And that’s the week, and that’s our schedule for what’s ahead.
Now I have about twelve minutes to take you through this account. You know, if you learn anything from me, you learn that I love to give you the background, right? So now you kind of know where we are and what’s going on. Let’s see if we can get through this.
I want to just give you the first thing to think about: The faithful arrival. The faithful arrival. I’ll sometimes give you a little outline just to help you follow the flow. The faithful arrival.
“He approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples” – stop to say, Bethany is that town, that village two miles east, down the slope from Jerusalem. The old name they think means “house of dates.” Bethphage, on the other hand, is a smaller little tiny village we don’t know anything about. Some people think it means “house of figs,” but it speaks of the agricultural life of the area. Both of them very near the Mount of Olives, which is directly east of the temple mount in Jerusalem. You come up from those villages over the Mount, and then you see Jerusalem. When you’re behind the Mount on the downslope, you can’t even see the eastern part of the city, or any of the city for that matter. So these little towns near the Mount of Olives are the location for this event.
He sent two of His disciples. He was in Bethany at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; and what it likely means is He sent them to this neighboring place called Bethphage: “Go into the village opposite you, opposite Bethany; and immediately as you enter it, you’ll find a colt tied there in which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.”
And you ask the question, “How did He know that?” He knows that because He’s God. This is omniscience. He knows every donkey, every colt, every post, everything that can be known. Everything that exists, He knows. And He knows everything there is to know all the time, unless He for His own purposes restricts His knowledge, as He did on occasion in His incarnation. This is an evidence of His omniscience here: “Go find that animal.”
Verse 3, there is to be expected that when you go to take somebody’s animal there’s going to be some kind of response. “If anyone says to you,” – verse 3, ‘What are you doing, or why are you doing this?’ you just say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”
Well that’s not a very good explanation; but it does assume one thing, that Jesus knows that whoever is in charge of this animal or owns this animal knows who the Lord is. This must be a believer. This must be someone who has put His trust in the Lord. He doesn’t even give them an explanation, “Just say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he’ll send it back here.”
He knows he’ll respond. He knows where the animal is. He knows who the man is. He knows what the man believes, and He knows what the man will do. That’s divine omniscience. That’s miraculous. “And he’ll send it back.”
You know, the disciples need to know that because it’s a little awkward stealing somebody’s animal. Verse 4: “They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ And they spoke to them, just as Jesus said. They said, ‘The Lord has need of it.’ And they gave them permission.”
I mean, did that register at all with them, what had just happened? They brought it back. Verse 7: “They brought the colt to Jesus, put their coats on it; and He sat on it.” That would be like a blanket on the back of the animal to provide a little bit more comfort for the Lord riding it.
Why is this here? Is this just to give us a little tiny footnote on the deity of Christ? Is this just a little final illustration of His omniscience? It is that, it is beautifully that. And didn’t David ride a mule? And wasn’t Solomon riding a mule even, in 1 Kings chapter 1, on his coronation? Is this supposed to connect Jesus with Solomon and David as a son of David?
Well, maybe. But that’s not the main point. Mark doesn’t really tell us why this happened, but Matthew does. Okay? Turn to Matthew 21, Matthew’s parallel account. Matthew tells us why it happened, and it’s not vague.
Verse 4, Matthew 21. Verse 3 says, “If anyone asks you anything, just say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” Then verse 4, “This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet.” What prophet? Zachariah. Five hundred years before, Zachariah 9:9, Zachariah said, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold your king is coming to you gentle and mounted on a donkey,’ – not even a donkey, but – ‘even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden, the foal of a donkey.’”
He will come in fulfillment of prophecy. That’s why I love to call this a faithful, a faithful arrival, a faithful arrival. He comes faithful to the prophet’s words five hundred years, as I said, before the prophet had said, “The people of Jerusalem would hail their Messiah riding on a donkey’s colt.” This is not His true coronation, but this is that event that happened that day in Jerusalem. He comes humbly on a donkey’s colt, because He comes not to reign, He comes to die. He comes not as a sovereign, but as a suffering servant and a Savior.
And His disciples didn’t get it. Did they get the omniscient part? I think they did. Did they get the prophetic part? No. John 12 says, in writing of this very event, John 12:16, “These things His disciples didn’t understand at first; but when Jesus was glorified after His ascension, then they remembered that these things were written about Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” The details, all recorded in the Old Testament, they didn’t understand at the time; but later they understood. This is a faithful arrival, He is fulfilling prophecy.
It’s more than just that, although it is that; He fulfilled another prophecy. In Daniel 9 we’re given a really important prophecy, Daniel 9:24 to 27, that it’ll be four hundred and eighty three years, sixty-nine weeks of years – sixty-nine times seven, four hundred and eighty three – four hundred and eighty-three years from the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem, which was in 445 B.C., four hundred and eighty-three years to the arrival of Messiah. If you do the calendar work on that, four hundred and eighty-three years from the decree of Artaxerxes lands you on this day when Jesus came into the city. God’s timing is perfect, down to the clearest detail. It was a faithful arrival, faithful to the divine purpose, prophecy, and timetable.
Secondly, though it was a faithful arrival, it was a faithless approval. Verse 8: “And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.” Why would they spread their coats in the road? That was an old, ancient gesture, a custom that showed submission. “You can walk on me, you can step on me; I’m below your feet.”
Kings were always elevated and people were under their feet. And this was a way to symbolize that: “You can walk all over me; I am submissive to you.” You see it in the coronation of Jehu in 2 Kings chapter 9. “We place ourselves under your authority.” This is an affirmation, at least superficially, “You’re our King. You’re our sovereign.”
Their hope for the kingdom was really high; but they had their own view: “Attack the Romans; throw out the Romans. Give us our place in the world, and fulfill all the promises of the Old Testament to us.” And they were all superficial and earthly.
This entourage coming up the hill is massive by now; the crowd is swelling, the enthusiasm is growing. Luke says, “As soon as they reached the Mount of Olives” – and that point they could see the city – “the whole crowd and the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice,” that they just broke loose when they crossed the crown of the Mount of Olives, they could see Jerusalem. What had caused that? “Because” – writes Luke – “of all the miracles they had seen.” Plenty of evidence that He was the Messiah.
Their escalated enthusiasm expected Him to do what they wanted Him to do. They show their fealty to Him by spreading leafy branches under Him. John 12:13 says, “They were palm branches.” And palm branches in the Scripture can be symbols of salvation joy, as they are in Revelation 7:9. Throwing down these branches was a symbol of joy. “You are our deliverer. You are our source of joy.”
Matthew 21:9 says Jesus is in the middle of the crowd; they’re all around Him, surging with this emotion. The chief priests had already said, “If you see Jesus anywhere, report to us, and we’re going to arrest Him.” Well, they had long forgotten that warning. They were caught up in the drama and the emotion and the hysteria of the moment.
Those who went in front, verse 9, those who followed were all doing the same thing. They were praising Him: “Hosanna!” They were shouting. This is not indiscriminate rabble. This is not just blank verse. This is not noise. Specific things: “Hosanna!” That’s an exclamatory plea that means, “Save now. Save now. Deliver us now.” And they’re talking about an earthly, political, military deliverance. They’re shouting Psalm 118, verse 26, a psalm of salvation, sometimes called “the conqueror’s psalm,” which a hundred years before, the Jews shouted at Maccabeus because he was triumphing over the Syrians.
Matthew adds, “They said, ‘Hosanna, save now, to the Son of David.’” That’s the most common messianic title. So they were identifying Jesus as the Messiah: “Save now, Messiah. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” That’s the Psalm 118, verse 26, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
They said, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David. Hosanna in the highest.” All these are messianic accolades; and they’re shouting at the top of their voice. Luke adds that they even said, “Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
This is mob hysteria. They know that these things relate to the kingdom. The kingdom will be a kingdom of salvation. The kingdom will be a kingdom over which the son of David rules. The kingdom will be the kingdom promised to David with all those promises fulfilled. The kingdom will be a kingdom of peace, and the kingdom will be a kingdom of glory. Everything shouted is true, scriptural, borrowed out of the Old Testament, accurate. This is God’s King, but this is not God’s time.
In reality, this is a faithless approval. The crowd is fickle the next day when He attacked the religion by attacking the temple. When He didn’t do what they wanted, they began to turn on Him. And by the end of the week, they’re screaming, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We’ll not have this man reign over us.” Just a few days later they completely reversed their sentiments. Why? Because He didn’t do what they wanted Him to do. They wanted Him to attack the enemy; He attacked them. Definitely a faithless approval.
That brings us to a final point, a final thought. I guess we could call it “the fateful appraisal” in verse 11: “Jesus entered Jerusalem, came into the temple; then after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.” Boy, that’s a really blah ending to a coronation: “Go out of town and go back to where you came from.”
This isn’t a true coronation, and He’s not really their king. What is this telling us? He entered Jerusalem, came into the temple, and looked around at everything. What’s He doing? I’ll tell you what He’s doing. He’s casing the place. He’s planning a strategy for the next day.
And what happened on the next day? Verse 15: “He entered the temple, began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, overturned the table of the money changers, the seats of those selling doves. He wouldn’t permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. He began to teach and say to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? You have made it a robber’s den.’ The chief priests and the scribes heard this, began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.”
They’ve got a problem now. He’s attacked them at the very heart, and He’s got this massive crowd all stirred up. All this by God’s design to precipitate His death on Friday. No, He’s just checking it out. He’s just developing the strategy for the next day when He goes in and assaults the place.
When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they were ready to hail Him as their Messiah if He did for them what they wanted. Okay? And when He didn’t, they turned on Him and cried for His blood. He left the end of that day and He went back to His friends at the time of dusk, because once it was dark, there was nothing to be done, and it was late in the day; and He left. But He had made His appraisal of the horrific corruption of the temple religion.
Do you remember John 2 describes the beginning of His ministry when He did the same thing, attacked the false system, dismantled the temple? Three years later He’s back, and He’s going to do it again. It wasn’t the Romans He would attack, it was the Jews. It wasn’t pagan idolatry He would attack, it was the worship of Judaism, whose religion had been corrupted, whose praise was selfish and superficial.
Did the people know He had the credentials of Messiah? Yeah; born of the line of David, miracle worker, heal sick people, cast out demons, raises dead people. How could they possibly decide to crucify Him? I’ll give it to you real simple: if Jesus doesn’t do what the sinner wants Jesus to do, the sinner will turn on Him.
Can I tell you something? False coronations like this go on every day, all the time. Just turn on your television to some charismatic TV station and watch all the hoopla about Jesus, and watch all the swaying and groaning and moaning and singing and praising, and then listen to the people say, “Jesus will make you rich. Jesus will heal you. Jesus will give you all your dreams. Jesus will fulfill all your desires.” And I will tell you all the praise and the hoopla will go on until Jesus doesn’t deliver the goods that the fallen sinner wants; and they’ll turn on Him.
That’s a very deadly thing to do and very dishonoring to the Lord. That’s why the prosperity message is so dangerous, it lies. It promises the sinner what the fallen sinner already wants in his corrupt condition. What a true believer wants is what will glorify God, honor Christ, and increase His attractiveness to the people around him. The sinful heart can be very interested in Jesus. The sinful heart can be very, very religious until Jesus attacks that false religion.
I remember some years ago, one of the famous, most famous of the TV prosperity preachers said after I had denounced that stuff, he said, “If I had my way, I’d take my Holy Ghost machine gun and blow his brains out.” He said that on the air. So I knew I was exactly where I needed to be, and had said exactly what I needed to say. You never have seen people turn so fast when you try to expose the truth.
Well, false coronations of Jesus go on all the time. This was one, but this had a divine intent and purpose. Didn’t justify it, didn’t make hypocrisy right; but God used this to escalate the timetable to bring about His purpose for Christ to be crucified on Friday. God’s in charge of everything, His timetable is perfect; and when you crown Christ the true King, when you put your trust in Him, you will, as a true believer, say, “Lord, give me what You would want me to have. Reign in my life according to Your will, not mine,” right?
Father, we thank You for Your truth. We thank You for the Word. We thank You for the Scripture. It lives, it breathes, it moves; we’re there. What an experience this morning we’ve had. How precious, blessed. Thank You for the folks that are here. Clarify things in our lives, that we may love You more and serve You more faithfully, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
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