What Just Happened? by Bob Surber

Matthew 21:6  And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

How many felt the earthquake this morning? The epicenter was in Sparta and felt all the way up here. The house shook. The noise was strange. I found myself saying “what just happened?” That’s what we want to look at today in this story. We usually study Palm Sunday at Easter. It’s a special day and teaches us a great deal. Everything has a design. When we think of how Jesus suffered and died, was buried, and on the third day arose, we push back Palm Sunday in comparison to the days of suffering and death. But it was important. It had to happen. In order for Christmas to happen, nine months earlier the Holy Spirit had to overshadow Mary so Jesus could enter the world through her womb. Only Mary knew what happened. Then Jesus was born.

Likewise, Jesus would not have suffered if he had not gone to Jerusalem. He couldn’t go to Capernaum or Samaria to suffer. He had to go to Jerusalem The Bible says he set his face like a flint to go there. This had been promised in Zechariah 9:9. Zion’s King would come.  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. The Lord shall suddenly come into the temple.

Palm Sunday was sudden, not planned by the disciples. Jesus sent two of them to find a colt; he told them what to tell the owner if he asked why they needed it. The Lord hath need of it. Jesus had walked; now why did he need a donkey?  They didn’t know just why Jesus needed it. This was the beginning of Passover week. The Jews set aside their lamb on the first day of the week.  Later on in the week it would be sacrificed. From Bethany over the other side of Olivet, Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem, but this time he requested a donkey. He sat on it and started down Mount Olivet; he would pass Gethsemane on the way. He would enter through the golden gate–the eastern gate–and would go to the temple mount on Mount Zion.  The disciples laid their garments on the donkey for Jesus to ride it. Things started to happen. People were everywhere. They cut palm branches and laid  them down like a carpet before him. This had never happened before. It had been promised and was now happening. The people in Jerusalem looked up the mountain and saw all the people. What was happening?  They had learned about this prophecy and it was happening. We’ve talked about the Lord’s coming a lot.  It’s going to happen. In a moment it will be over and done with. Don’t be part of the crowd left wondering what just happened. This morning the ground shook and at first we were asking “what just happened?” This should be a warning to us. Palm Sunday came and went. Jesus came and went. The next time he came to Jerusalem it was in his glorified form saying “peace be to you”. He was alive and will be forevermore.

Palm Sunday was probably over in about 40 minutes. Jesus entered Jerusalem and would exit by being carried out this time. It was over and done. Some said who is it?  What just happened? They didn’t recognize who Jesus was.  Wait till the trumpet sounds and the transcension of all believers happens. The church will be taken from earth all the way to heaven in a moment, the twinkling of an eye. It will be over with. There have been no other Palm Sundays. It had been prophesied; they should have been looking for it to happen. They sat at Jesus’ feet and heard him teach. They saw him beaten. They heard Pilate say “behold your king.” They didn’t want him. That’s what the world is saying now.  We all know the signs are being fulfilled. Literally nothing but the grace of God is keeping Christ from returning. When the King comes, the wrath of judgment will fall. We see the great falling away. Churches are changing to please sinners.  There used to be a fear of God. There is way little conviction of sin today. Jesus came and the promise was fulfilled. There won’t be another Palm Sunday. Let the earth quake. The trumpet is going to sound. Jesus will shout; it will be a site. The only hope for our nation is not in the government, not in a president, but in a King–King Jesus.

The feeling of Palm Sunday was exciting. Even the children cried out in praise. The Pharisees told Jesus to stop them, but he said if they didn’t cry out  the rocks would do it. This world is going to shake. Jesus will come and it will be over. Palm Sunday was a short-lived feeling, but when we leave here it will continue in a land where we’ll never grow old or wear out. Jesus told us when to start looking. The King is coming in the clouds. He won’t wait on you to hurry up and repent. It will happen too quickly, in that moment, the twinkling of an eye.

A certain month. A certain day. A certain moment. If you miss it, you’ll miss heaven. Don’t be left behind saying “what just happened?” Be among those who knew, who were ready to meet Jesus in the air.

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