Bringing In The King

The triumphal entry of Jerusalem by Jesus. Artist unknown.

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Bringing In The King

Copyright © April 17, 2011, Douglas W. Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

Palm Sunday

This is the introductory article of a series of studies dedicated to the Passion Week. Please check back with us throughout this week for more on this vital subject as we approach Resurrection Sunday, April 24, 2011.

At church today, as we entered the sanctuary, we were given the frond of a palm. Everyone in the church had one, including all those in the choir and on the platform. As we entered the first song, all those in the choir and on the platform came down to the front and strawed the open isle with their fronds. Others filtered in from behind us. My wife and I were on the front row, but we instinctively knew without looking around, that the whole congregation was going to move forward to deposit their fronds before the platform. We took the initiative ahead of the throng from behind and stepped forward, laying our palm fronds down in honor of the humble King of Kings, Who came the first time to earth as a Suffering Servant.

Christians worldwide celebrate what is known as Palm Sunday right around this same time every year. Palm Sunday is our memorial of the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem one week, approximately, before His arrest, crucifixion death, resurrection and ultimately His ascension into Heaven. It is our reminder of the beginning of the “Passion” week; i.e. the week in which those first three things took place. The fourth event, the Ascension, took place 40 days thereafter, as recorded in the New Testament book “The Acts of the Apostles”.

Now, it is interesting to note that at Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago, the people laid down palms with a great anticipation of the return of political authority to the Jewish people. Most, if not all, including even Jesus’ closest disciples, believed that Jesus was entering the city as the Son of David. As David’s progeny, He would swiftly overturn the foreign subjugators and return the rights to the land of Israel to its true owners, the Jews. Jesus, they were sure, was entering their beloved holy city to throw off their Gentile oppressors, who at that time were the Romans, and to set up the Kingdom of God.

Jesus message for the past three years implied some of those things. He came preaching the Kingdom of God, and continued to preach that same theme throughout His ministry. This was the theme of all his miracles, of all his parables, and of all his ethical and doctrinal teachings. You cannot read the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) without being continually challenged by this ONE theme. Why did Jesus come to earth? The answer: to establish the Kingdom of God. That is the overarching theme of the Gospels, and in fact, of the whole New Testament. I don’t even need proof texts on this point. Just get out that dusty Bible you own and read it again.

There are, however, some things about which those ancient leaf throwers of Jewish descent were wrong. They never expected the Messiah ben David, their anointed descendent of the great king, to threaten their religious establishment. They never thought He would predict the utter destruction of their beautiful temple. They could not believe that He would be brought into judgment and condemned to death by the leaders of their own people. They never expected Him to die a criminal’s death at the hands of the same Roman overlords they had hoped He would defeat.

Even Jesus’ own Apostles did not understand yet. When the arrestors came to take Jesus, Peter cut off a part of a man’s ear, thinking that he, Peter, the Stone! was part of the political vanguard against the soon to be deposed oppressor class. But soon that same night, his hope failed. He denied having any relationship with the Galilean prisoner who had come to “usurp” the authority of the rulers of Israel and their Roman overlords. This same thing was true of all the Apostles, for it says, “They all fled.”

Then came the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin (the rulers of the Jewish people). Then came the trial before Pontius Pilate (representative of Rome). At that time the same people who hailed the coming king condemned him to be crucified as an opponent of their illustrious Roman benefactors. Now crucifixion, now death. Surely, this was not the Messiah.

Then came the third day. Another Sunday, the first day of the week. The reason why Christians worldwide celebrate the first day of the week rather than the last. The end was not the end. It was a new beginning. It was and is! The first day of the week. History has begun again for all those on this side of that cross. It is for all who believe, our resurrection from the dead because it was Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead!

Next Sunday, Resurrection Sunday (I dare not call it Easter after the pagan goddess Ashtoroth from whom the name is derived) is our great celebration! Christ Jesus is alive! Our King lives and rules over all the nations. Though Israel rejected Him, yet the greater purposes of God from the foundation of the world have been established. Christ our King and also our redeemer rules forevermore over men.

I intended to go into the book of Acts and show how Jesus is even now reigning over all kingdoms in this present state. But I am overcome with what God has given us here and do not want to over burden my readers either. Instead, let us dedicate this week to further studies along this same train of thought.

I hope to take some time tomorrow and throughout this passion week discussing the following:

How is Jesus greater than the son of David?

When will the Kingdom be restored to Israel?

How are the twelve Apostles representatives of New Jerusalem?

When are the kingdoms of this earth overthrown by the Kingdom of God?

There is to much subject matter to deal with than one article can do justice. Bear with me and please check back throughout this week for more.

En Christo!


Doug Jerving is the publisher of the You may contact him at


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