Mark 11:1-11 | The Triumphant Entry?

March 28, 2021
Book: Mark
Series: Mark

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Today is Palm Sunday. What is Palm Sunday? Palm Sunday is simply the Sunday before Easter.
The Sunday before Easter introduces what’s known as Holy Week. This week has been celebrated throughout all of Christendom regardless of denomination. Holy Week focuses on the Passion of Christ. Holy Week or Passion Week is named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross to pay for the sins of people who believe the gospel.

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Pastor Dustin Daniels | River Bible Church
Mark 11:1-11 | The Triumphant Entry?
March 28, 2021

REVIEW:
Last Sunday, the Holy Spirit of Almighty God taught us the demands of discipleship from the Lord Jesus Himself.
It was a weighty lesson— a solemn sermon.

We learned about the seriousness of misleading a new or weak Believer away from the Truth.
We learned the seriousness of not dealing with and repenting from ongoing sin in our own lives.
The Lord Jesus taught us the lesson of radical spiritual surgery and the cutting off, cutting out, and stopping what we’ve always done to cope with life.
We are not to engage in the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes or the pride of our lives.
We are called unto holiness.
We are to be a living sacrifice for the Lord Jesus.
KEYPOINT:
You become what you watch.
cf. Philippians 4:8 NLT—… Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

INTRODUCTION:
Today is Palm Sunday and next week is Easter—more appropriately, Resurrection Sunday.
So we are adjusting our verse-by-verse preaching series in the Gospel of Mark.
We finished up chapter nine last week, and we usually would move to chapter ten.
But since today is Palm Sunday, we will be in Mark chapter 11.
Before we dive in I need to give a brief overview of what happened in Mark chapter ten to understand what happens in today’s narrative.
In chapter ten, Jesus addresses:
questions on divorce,
blesses children,
has a conversation with a rich young ruler,
tells the disciples about his death and resurrection for the third time,
deals with the Disciples ongoing sin of pride,
and heals a blind man.
We will cover all that after Resurrection Sunday.
Today we’ll be in Mark chapter 11 and for Resurrection Sunday, Mark chapters 15 and 16.
So that’s where we’re headed…
Today is Palm Sunday. What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is simply the Sunday before Easter.
The Sunday before Easter introduces what’s known as Holy Week.
This week has been celebrated throughout all of Christendom regardless of denomination.
Holy Week focuses on the Passion of Christ.
Holy Week is also known as Passion Week.
Holy Week or Passion Week is named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross to pay for the sins of people who believe the gospel.
Now, as we begin reading today’s Scripture passage, I want you to notice several things:
1) How much time is spent on the preparation of walking into Jerusalem.
The first seven verses of this text show us that Jesus has divine authority over the smallest of details.
Today’s story emphasizes how Jesus goes into great detail about how the Disciples are to fetch a donkey.
It truly is incredible! Seven out of eleven verses are about a donkey!
Well, kind of…
What I really want you to see how is how Jesus spoke, and by His speaking, set in motion a series of events many times get overlooked in this story.
2) I want you to notice that Jesus enters Jerusalem on His own terms.

What do these things apply to your lives today? Let’s find out!
**Please stand for the reading/honoring of God’s Word.**

SCRIPTURE: Mark 11:1-11 CSB
Mark 11:1— When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.
Mark 11:2—  and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it.
Mark 11:3—  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’ ”
Mark 11:4—  So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it,
Mark 11:5—  and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
Mark 11:6—  They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go.
Mark 11:7—  They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it.
Mark 11:8—  Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields.
Mark 11:9—  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted:
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!,

Mark 11:10—  Blessed is the coming kingdom
of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
Mark 11:11—  He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
**These are the very words from God for us this morning.**
PRAY:

EXEGESIS:
Mark 11:1— When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples.
Mark 11:2—  and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it.

This narrative starts with the names of two villages and a mountain.
Bethphage means “house of unripe figs,” which was a village close to Jerusalem. Its precise location is not known.
Bethany, on the other hand, was located on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives.
Bethany, which means “house of dates / house of sorrow.”
Bethany was only about two miles from Jerusalem, and this is probably where Jesus and the His Disciples stayed during the Holy Week. (cf. John 11:18).

Bethany is where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived.
The Mount of Olives sits above Jerusalem.
It offers a beautiful view of the city and especially of the temple.
We’ll find out why that’s a critical point in a moment.
It’s important to note that today’s story happens on a Monday.
In the OT, the Passover lambs were selected on the tenth day of the first month (Nisan) and sacrificed on the fourteenth day (Ex. 12:2–6).
God is very specific here in the OT—another reason why we can’t come to Him on our terms.
It just so happens when you review a Jewish calendar, the tenth day of the first month fell on a Monday.
Here’s the significance…
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on that Monday, Jesus fulfilled the role of the Father’s chosen Lamb in the same way and on the same day as the Jewish people chose their Passover lambs.
cf. John 1:29 CSB— …John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
And as we’ll find out next Sunday—Resurrection Sunday…the Lord Jesus was the Father’s Lamb who was was killed on Friday, the fourteenth day of the month.
The Lord Jesus was killed with thousands of other lambs on that particular Passover day, but none of those lambs satisfied the Father’s wrath against human sin.
cf. Hebrews 10:4 CSB—For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
It’s only the Father’s chosen Lamb that does that—and that Lamb’s name is Jesus.
In verse 1, we are given the details of three specific places—Bethany, Bethpage, and the Mount of Olives.
These details are important—stay with me.
Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem began that Monday at Bethany, a tiny village at the top of the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives is a mountain range east of Jerusalem where the Garden of Gethsemane was located.
Jerusalem sits three hundred feet below the Mount of Olives.
There is a special significance to that.
It goes back to the OT book of Ezekiel, God gave Ezekiel a vision. (Ezekiel 11:23)
At that time, Jerusalem is being destroyed by Babylon because of their rebellion against God.
In that vision, Ezekiel saw the glory of God rise up from the temple in Jerusalem.
Most likely, God’s Shekinah glory in a cloud—similar to the cloud in the Exodus.
God’s glory departs from Jerusalem and ascends three hundred feet, and rests on the Mount of Olives.

Why is this so important?
Stay with me because the conclusion comes at verse eleven!

Back to…
Mark 11:2—  Jesus told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it.
Now I don’t know about you, but don’t these instructions by Jesus sound strange?
Is Jesus telling His Disciples to steal a donkey for Him?!
No, Jesus was consciously and explicitly fulfilling OT prophecy from Zechariah.
So Jesus sends two unnamed disciples, most likely to Bethphage, to get a colt—which is a young donkey.
Notice how precise and exact this prophecy is fulfilled by the words of Jesus in our text today.
cf. Zechariah 9:9 CSB— Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
he is righteous and victorious,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Riding a donkey (contrary to what we think today) was the sign of a King.
Doing so identified Jesus with the royal line of David.
The donkey was a royal animal during the life of King David.
After David, kings switched from donkeys to horses, and the donkey was eventually considered unworthy of a king.
All that to say this…Jesus’ choice of the donkey not only told the whole world who he was—the promised King…
But it also proclaimed what he was like—humble and gracious.
Jesus required that the colt must have never been ridden by anyone.
The reason for that is because these colts are only used for sacred purposes.
Something else is significant…horses and donkeys had to be broken in to ride them.
But in the Jewish culture, no one was allowed to ride the king’s horse or the king’s donkey.
Only the king could ride them and break them in.
That is why Jesus specifically asked for a colt that had never been ridden— it was the colt specifically prepared for the King Jesus.
History shows us that most kings in the ancient world, like Alexander the Great, rode on magnificent and beautiful horses.
King Solomon rode into Jerusalem one time with over 20,000 horses.
These horses were not just any kind of horse.

There were no finer horses in the Kingdom. They were fit and beautiful and trained.

Josephus, a Jewish historian tells us…
The riders on these horses were also young men that were of perfect age, fit, and trained.
They were taller than most men and had long heads of hair that hung down.
Their hair was sprinkled with gold dust so that the reflection of the sun sparkled in their hair.
King Solomon himself, dressed in a white garment, rode in his chariot in the middle of these men.
These men wore armor and were armed with bows and arrows.

Others were dressed in purple—lots of pomp and circumstance.
That’s how Solomon entered the city of Jerusalem.
But not the King of the Jews.
King Jesus came riding on a donkey and fulfilled prophecy from 500 years earlier.
Mark 11:2— … As soon as you enter it…
Notice this little detail from Jesus.

Jesus reassured His disciples that they wouldn’t be looking for this colt all day.
No, this is not a long search—Jesus guaranteed that.
Why? Because Jesus is God.

He not only foresaw the scene, but ordained it to happen.
Jesus spoke the scene into existence.
Mark 11:3—  If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’ ”

The question means, “What right do you have to do that?”
Jesus answers the question immediately, “The Lord needs it.”
The first six verses of this story demonstrate Jesus’ precise foreknowledge and sovereignty over events.
Even this question contains subtle details of how Jesus is God.
Here’s what I mean…
Throughout world history, the kings in ancient times had the prerogative to seize animals.
That’s what King Jesus is doing here. This verse hints at Jesus’ kingly role.
In other words, “Tell them that the Sovereign One, the King of the Jews, requires this donkey.”
Jesus was famous, and His authority was most definitely recognized in Bethany.
So, let’s see how this story plays out.
Mark 11:4—  So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it,
Mark 11:5—  and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
Mark 11:6—  They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go.
Mark 11:7—  They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it.
It happened exactly as Jesus said it would.

And the Disciples make a temporary saddle for Jesus.
Jesus is now letting the disciples know that He was purposely going public.
Jesus has never before done anything to promote a public demonstration.
The crowds have always come to Him.
As we read through the gospels, Jesus repeatedly withdrew from the crowds.
But not today.
Mark 11:8—  Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields.
The crowd’s response was completely spontaneous.

Why are people spreading branches and placing their clothes on the road?

It’s equivalent of laying out the red carpet for a king.
People laying their clothes on the road symbolized their submission to Jesus as king (cf. 2 Kings 9:13).
The branches symbolized Jewish victory.
And by waving branches, the people are saluting and hailing Jesus as the Davidic king and Messiah.
Verse 8 says, many people.

We don’t know how many people are in this crowd, but we can take an educated guess from all the previous crowds— that this was crowd was enormous.

Two million Jews made this trip to Jerusalem each year for Passover.
Jesus also healed blind beggar in Mark chapter ten.
The gospel of Luke tells us about the conversion of a tax collector named Zaccheus,
The gospel of John tells us about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead…
All these things fed the crowds excitement as they were walking to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
It’s estimated that this crowd around Jesus was one hundred thousand people strong.

Mark 11:9—  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted:
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

“Hosanna” literally means “Save!” Or “God save us.”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” is a quote from Psalm 118:26.
This psalm was used as part of the ceremony for the Passover.
Mark 11:10—  Blessed is the coming kingdom
of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
“Hosanna” points to Jesus as the political Messiah.
And Jesus is a political Messiah—but, it’s not Rome that’s defeated.
It will be Satan, sin, and death—they are the ones who will be defeated.
The crowds were not pleading for salvation from sin.
They were begging for blessing, prosperity, and deliverance from Roman oppression.
Tragically, this same crowd who on Monday is proclaiming, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,”
Turnaround on Friday and chant, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” (Mark 15:13)
The crowd was looking for a messiah to free them from Roman oppression.
Jesus, however, came not only as the Davidic – Messianic King, but also as the Son of Man.
As the Son of Man, Jesus did things David never dared to do…like forgiving sin.

Mark 11:11—  He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
So verse eleven is extremely disappointing.
What happened to the crowd?
This appears to be the moment for Jesus be crowned King!
He just spent hours riding a donkey with tens of thousands of people celebrating…and when He finally gets to the temple…nothing?
That’s it? Do the crowds just vanish?

KEYPOINT
Don’t mistake enthusiasm or emotion for your faith.
What’s going on in verse 11?
It seems that Jesus gets to the Temple, walks around for a bit, and then leaves with His disciples?
Many translations call this text the Triumphant Entry.
I’ve titled this message with a question mark—The Triumphant Entry?
Who did Jesus triumph over?
Where’s the great conquest?
Who is Jesus claiming victory over?

I’m confused…and a disappointed.

Mark, our gospel writer, led us to have all these great expectations of grandeur…but nothing happens.
Well, Jesus’ arrival at the Temple sets the stage for what will happen the next day.
Jesus’ arrival and its true significance can only be seen through the lens of the OT.
cf. Malachi 3:1 CSB—… the Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple, the Messenger of the covenant you delight in—see, he is coming,” says the Lord of Armies.
So Jesus is fulfilling more OT prophecy.
When Jesus gets to the temple area, He’s not acting like a tourist.
He is inspecting His Temple. He’s taking a survey of how it’s being used.
You say, what’s the big deal about that?
Well, we need to remember where Jesus was earlier back in verse 1.
Jesus starts this day at the Mount of Olives.
Jesus sets His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem, knowing that He would suffer and die there. (Isa. 50:7)
But Jerusalem was not His ultimate destination.
No, His destination was the temple.
When Jesus went into Jerusalem and then into the temple, He looked around at the place where the sacrifices were offered for Passover.
The temple that He was standing in replaced the Tabernacle of the OT.

John’s gospel tells us, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 14).
That phrase “dwelt among us” literally means “tabernacled among us.”
Jesus was fulfilling everything that the Tabernacle pointed to.
The Tabernacle was a shadow of things to come.
Jesus literally “pitched His tent” among us.
Just as God’s shekinah glory tabernacled with His people in the OT,
The second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ, tabernacled with us while He was walking the Earth.

The Tabernacle is an OT picture of Jesus.
What was once a fuzzy picture of God dwelling with his people in the OT has now in verse eleven become a crystal clear reality.
And Jesus is not just the Tabernacle but all the elements in the Tabernacle.
Let me give you some examples.

The Jews in the OT entered the Tabernacle through a door that always faced east, into the outer courtyard,
Jesus comes along and says…
I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved. (John 10:7-9.)
In other words, Jesus is the door of salvation in the OT.

In the Tabernacle, the Jews used a washbasin called a laver.

The priests would wash their hands and their feet in this laver on a daily basis.
They could not enter the Holy Place of the Tabernacle without washing themselves.
Jesus comes along and tells Peter when He was trying to wash his feet, “If I don’t wash your feet, you have no part of me.” (John 13:8).
In other words, Jesus is the Laver of the OT.
In the Tabernacle, there was a candlestick with seven branches made of pure gold.
It burned olive oil night and day. It was the only source of light in the Tabernacle.

Without this one light, they couldn’t see God in His Holy place.
Jesus comes along and says, “I am the light of the world.”
In other words, Jesus is the lamp of the OT.
In the Tabernacle there was a table that had twelves loaves of bread called “showbread.”
These twelve loaves represented Israel.
This table was a place of communion and fellowship between God and His people.
Jesus comes along and says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger.” (John 6:35).
In other words, Jesus is the “showbread” of the OT.

In the Tabernacle was a very thick curtain—veil.

It separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies.

This veil was made of very fine blue, purple and scarlet linen.
No priest could enter the Holy of Holies except through the veil.
If a high priest passed through the veil without being sacrificially clean, God would strike him dead, because God cannot have sin in His presence.
Along comes Jesus, and the Word of God says this…
cf. Hebrews 10:19 NCV—…we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death.
cf. Hebrews 10:20 NCV—We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain—Christ’s body.

In other words, Jesus is the curtain/veil of the OT.
There was a special trunk-like box in the Tabernacle that was the centerpiece of the Holy of Holies.
It was called the Ark of the Covenant.
Inside the art were the Ten Commandments, a pot of manna from the Exodus, Aaron’s rod.
On top of the ark was a lid called the mercy seat.
Above the mercy seat were angels called cherubim, and they had wings that stretched over the ark.
One time a year, on the Day of Atonement, the blood of a goat was placed on the mercy seat to cover the people’s sins.
Jesus comes along, and the Word of God says this…

cf. Romans 3:25 CSB— God (The Father) presented him (Jesus, God the Son) as the mercy seat by his blood…because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.
In other words, Jesus is the mercy seat of the OT.
The priests were the mediators between God and man, and the high priest was the head priest.
Jesus comes along, and the word of God says,
cf. Hebrews 4:14 CSB— Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession.

cf. Hebrews 4:15 CSB— T For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.

cf. Hebrews 4:16 CSB— T Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.
In other words, Jesus is the new high priest.
In the OT, the priests would take a perfect lamb and slaughter it for the people’s sins.
The priest would place their hands on the lamb, symbolizing the transfer of the sins of the people to the lamb.
This was not forgiveness of sins, but a covering for our sins. It’s was temporary.
Along comes Jesus, and the Word of God says,
cf. Hebrews 10:11 CSB— Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins.
cf. Hebrews 10:12 CSB—  But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.

In other words, Jesus is THE sacrifice that is now standing in the Temple.

Jesus is the sanctuary.
Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
Jesus was speaking of Himself.
He was speaking of His own resurrection.
Back to today’s text, verse 11…
Mark 11:11—  He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Here’s the irony to this anticlimactic ending to this narrative for Palm Sunday.

This takes us all the way back to verse one.
The prophet Ezekiel saw God’s glory leave that temple and move toward the Mount of Olives five hundred years earlier.
The Mount of Olives is where Jesus started this journey.
And when Jesus entered the Temple on that Monday evening, the glory of God returned!!!
The King of glory was back in His temple. And yet, no one knew it.
PREACH:
How does this Palm Sunday story apply to your life today?

Just as God tabernacled with His people in the OT…

Just as Jesus dwelt with His people in the first century…

God continues to dwell with us today through the person and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.

God continues to speak to His people through His Word and by His Spirit.

The question becomes, are you one of His people?

Next week, we celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

It’s the most significant event in human history.

Jesus Christ walks out of his own grave!

The resurrection of Jesus proves that Jesus is who He said He was.

It also proves that God the Father accepted His sacrifice for your sins.

Because of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, your sin debt can be paid in full.

How is it paid? How can you be made right with God?

cf. John 3:16 ESV—For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

cf. John 3:17 ESV— For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

Next Sunday, we will learn how the death of Jesus specifically saves you.

If you’re visiting with us today, I pray you’ll come back to hear God’s word wrapped up in His grace.

For those of you who call River home, please be sure you invite someone to hear the best news ever.
PRAYER ROOM:

PRAY:

Sermon Bibliography
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