The King Has Come matthew 21:1-17

We turn a corner here—Jesus is going to Jerusalem and to the cross

Matthew marks the moment by turning attention to how Jesus’ ministry fulfills the OT

Craig Blomberg, “from this chapter onward, Matthew begins to quote the OT explicitly with much greater frequency, reminiscent of the opening chapters of his gospel.”[1]

  • As Jesus heads to his death Matthew wants us to know that Jesus’ death was always part of God’s plan
    • We’re supposed to see Jesus’ death, both Historically and Redemptively

Five Points:  1. Historical Truth; 2. Redemptive Reality; 3. Redemptive Reasons; 4.  The Example; 5. Applications

  1. Historical Truth
    1. JC Ryle, “Our Lord’s last entry into Jerusalem was very public.  He rode on a donkey like a king visiting his capital city, or a conqueror returning in triumph to the native land.”
    1. We get so familiar with the story that we don’t consider what an amazing event this was
      1. From the gospel records—our impression should be that the entire city was aware of Jesus’ arrival and many of them were involved in it
      1. Matthew “And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” Mark is largely the same
      1. Luke, “As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his 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! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.
        1.  Jesus is making a theological statement here—creation groans waiting for the work of God’s redemption and now as the Redeemer approaches God’s city, there can only be praise!
        1. Praise for another beginning in God’s redemptive calendar—the Old Covenant was coming to an end the New Covenant was about to begin
    1. This crowd was huge!!  Don’t miss that
      1. According to Josephus the population of Israel would triple to quadruple
      1. This is important because it establishes the historical truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection
      1. JC Ryle, “let us bless God that the death of the Lord was so widely known and so public an event. Had he been suddenly stoned by a mob or privately beheaded, there would have been those who denied he died at all.”[2]
    1. This is important from an apologetic perspective
      1. Apologetics—apologia to defend the Christian faith
      1. First, you defend it to yourself.  Apologetics to strengthen your faith—the foundation of the gospels is Jesus’ death and resurrection
        1. Sometimes we doubt or waver aand begin to wonder if any of this is true
        1. That’s where having a reasonable faith strengthens you
        1. The very public nature of the triumphal entry, death, and resurrection of Christ proves that Jesus is God in the flesh who died for his people, because it proves the Bible is true.
        1. You see, If there was no person such as Jesus of Nazareth, Or if he wasn’t crucified publicly as the gospels claim, then there would have been a very early—first century—public outcry (fake news!) about the elaborate fraud
      1. Second, Jesus’ very public end of his life can be a good talking point with an unbeliever who just can’t come to grips with who Jesus is
  2. Redemptive Reality
    1. As we come to the first quotation in v. 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of beast of burden.”  We see Matthew’s redemptive focus clearly
      1. The king coming on a donkey rather than a war-horse indicates peace has been established
      1. The donkey Clearly anticipates the result of his death
      1. In NT terminology, the donkey is a not yet, because the already is strife, affliction, and crucifixion
      1. But following Jesus’ death is Peace with God—Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
    1. The redemptive reality is nothing without the historical truth (possibly Roddy’s dad here)
      1. God has provided us with foreshadows of redemption throughout scripture and this is one of them
      1. The picture we should see here is the coming of the king in ANE culture
        1. Crowd in town meets king outside of town with entourage and becomes the “triumphal procession”
        1. Jesus the king is assuming his final work of purely human ministry—to die and be resurrected in this city, Jerusalem, where God had set his name to dwell
      1. This event foreshadows Jesus’ final work of redemption—his return!
        1. From our Approach, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 
        1. Very public, like Matthew 21-“decend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God”
          1. Not a secret snatching away of the faithful
          1. NO, this even will be very public demonstration of power and triumph!
        1. The same kind of entourage and king entering the conquered territory, “those who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”
          1. Here’s the picture:  Jesus is coming from heaven with the souls of the saints who have previously died and they will receive their bodies
          1. The saints who are still living, then, are brought to the clouds to meet Jesus and the heavenly saints
          1. And now that the entire Church—both militant and triumphant—is gathered, the King and his Army will enter the earth as the conquering ruler and his people, coming in peace because the enemy will be dead
      1. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is a foreshadow of his return at the end of time
        1. When creation will no longer grown
        1. When the curse of Adam will be lifted
        1. All tears will be wiped away from every eye
        1. Jesus will come back, followed by his entire church, and bring heaven with him! 
    1. God’s plan included Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and eventual death.  As they threw down their coats and palm fronds they didn’t realize it, but they were a foreshadow of Jesus’ final redemption at his return.
  3. Redemptive Reasons—cleansing the temple
    1. Matthew records Jesus’ cleansing the temple after his triumphal entry
      1. Temple cleansing happened twice—bookends of Jesus’ ministry
        1. John 2 vs. the synoptics at the end
    1. Jesus’ ministry fills three offices:  prophet, priest, and king
    1. Coming into Jerusalem marks the King’s entrance, but it also is when the Priest begins his preparations
      1. The priest who offers the final the sacrifice that will finally pay for sins
        1. Heb. 10:12-14  But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
      1. Jesus isn’t only the priest, he is the Passover sacrifice, “Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed” 1 Cor. 5:7
    1. So when Jesus comes and cleanses the temple for his pure, holy sacrifice
      1. Jesus quotes Jeremiah as he kicks the money changers out, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
        1. When Jeremiah came warning Israel of God’s wrath, they would say there’s nothing to worry about, the temple is here
        1. The same thing was happening in Jesus’ day and just like Jeremiah, Jesus is saying faith isn’t about symbols, it’s about your heart—and these moneychangers reveal proud hearts and empty religion
      1. Just like Jesus cleansed the temple the Holy Spirit comes into the sinners’ heart and transforms us into “holy vessels for honorable use”
        1. The sinner is changed from a God hater to a God worshipper
        1. From depraved wills totally bent on sin to wills that are free to follow Jesus, desiring the good, the holy, and the beautiful
  4. The Examples
    1. We’ve seen Matthew do this time and time again—he gives us some doctrinal teaching and then follows it with an example
    1. In this case, we have a negative example of what not to do along with two positive examples of what we should do
    1. The first example:  “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them”
      1. Like the blind men outside Jericho in 20:29, the lame and blind come to Jesus because they know their need
      1. Know your need and never forget it!
    1. The negative example is brought to you by the scribes and chief priests:  “when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ and were indignant.
      1. Filled with pride and self-righteousness, the chief priests and scribes couldn’t see the Messiah right in front of them.  Instead they were jealous of Jesus’ accolades.
      1. What is the righteousness you rely on?
        1. Prayer? Bible reading? Helping yourself and your family learn what is right and wrong?  Memorizing scripture?  Tithing everything you should, even down to the smallest amount?
          1. That’s what the priests and scribes relied on…
        1. Or is it Christ—prayer, Bible reading, the Law, knowing scripture, and good works, which include tithing are acts of devotion to Christ and a desire for Him. 
          1. His work is your righteousness
      1. They said to him, “do you hear what they are saying?”
    1. The children were crying out Jesus’ praises, “Hosanna to the Son of David”.  Hosanna means “save us, we pray”—it’s a cry for the Messiah to deliver them.
      1. Fulfilment of Psalm 8—“out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise”
      1. It was an act of praise to the one who is eminently praiseworthy!
    1. an example of dependence, an example of hypocrisy, and an example of true praise
      1. God should be depended on and praised in all his works
      1. Depending on God and praising him will lead us away from self-righteous hypocrisy
  5. Application—Jesus’ Rapturous Return
    1. Our king entered Jerusalem to be our priest—the way of Jesus’ final return in glory was paved through the cross
      1. Our Lord was nailed to the cross, but it wasn’t the nails that held him there—it was our sins.  And his love for us.
        1. “no one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” John 10:18
        1. Jesus’ suffering is evidence that he will do anything we need to cure us from sin’s curse.
        1. That kind of love and devotion deserves better praise than we will ever give him—Hosanna Son of David!
    1. Jesus past work guarantee his future work.
      1. Our final state in glory is guaranteed, because just like we had to be raised from the death of our sin into life in Christ; so too, are we guaranteed glory, because Jesus final triumphant entry will be even bigger, and even better!
    1. And our last application, the priest who sacrificed himself for our sins continues to work for us by preserving the faithful through his heavenly intercession
      1. That love that kept him on the cross is the same love that keeps his people united to their Savior, his love preserves you and cares for you, providing escape for every temptation, and strength for every affliction.
      1. Examine your heart for active trust in Jesus’ heavenly intercession:
        1. Are your prayers filled with requests for this world’s comfort or for eternal values?
          1. Like salvation for loved ones instead of money for car repairs
          1. Not that you can’t ask for both, but as we grow in our dependence on our Savior’s heavenly intercession we’ll begin to pray more for blessings of eternal consequence.
      1. Trust your savior, cry out to him, “Save me, preserve me, Son of David!”  You are my King, my Priest, and my Prophet!

[1] Blomberg, C.  “Matthew 21:1-11” in Commentary on the NT use of the OT.  Eds. Beale and Carson. Baker Academic, 2007. (63)

[2] Ibid (27 September, Morning).