Lessons for Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hail the King Who Humbly Comes to Save Us!

Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

 

Here are a few questions to consider from this lesson that explore “our humble king.” (Some more exploration and possible answers to the questions can be found at the end of the post.)

How is Christ “your king”?

How would this king be different than other earthly kings?

Philippians 2:5-11

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—  even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Here are a few questions to consider from this lesson that explore “our humble king.” (Some more exploration and possible answers to the questions can be found at the end of the post.)

What quality of Christ is stressed as a model for us?

Where was Christ’s humility most obvious?

What was the end result of Jesus’ humility?

Matthew 21:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Here is a question to consider from this lesson that explores “our humble king.” (Some more exploration and possible answers to the question can be found at the end of the post.)

Of what significance is the fact that Jesus is the Son of David?

 

ANSWERS

Zechariah 9:9-10

How is Christ “your king”?

Though he was more than qualified, Jesus never claimed an earthly kingdom like we normally think with the word “king.”  Instead, Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. We often consider him ruling in three kingdoms: the Kingdom of Power (his power places him above all things in heaven and earth), the Kingdom of Grace (where he rules in the hearts of his believers), and the Kingdom of Glory (he rules in heaven and will continue there into all eternity).

How would this king be different than other earthly kings?

Zechariah tells Jerusalem to rejoice when the messianic King comes to her, because he will have with him the righteousness she needs and the salvation she craves. This King would surpass the glory and power of all Israel’s kings before him. King David’s rule extended to the River Euphrates at its farthest—but this King’s rule would extend from the Euphrates to the very ends of the earth, from sea to sea. His worldwide kingdom would mean the end of war and the advent of peace. All this he would do not with an army, but with his person—not with violence, but with gentleness. Rejoice, daughter of Zion! Your King comes to you. Hail him!

Philippians 2:5-11

What quality of Christ is stressed as a model for us?

His humility which caused him willingly to lay aside the honor and majesty that were his as God.

Where was Christ’s humility most obvious?

In the death he died, a form reserved for the worst of criminals, “death on a tree.”

What was the end result of Jesus’ humility?

“God exalted him to the highest place,” and at his name, “every knee should bow.” Jesus extends the same promise to us when he says that the last shall be first (Mark 10:31).

Jesus is our King, but he came humbly to save us. Though true God, he became man. Though all powerful, he became a servant. Though immortal and eternal, he died. He not only laid aside his glory, but he took our shame upon him. He not only humbled himself, but he died as one who was cursed. Yet in this great humility, he won the peace of forgiveness for us. The King came humbly because he wasn’t on the way to a throne in Jerusalem, but to a hill called Golgotha where he would fulfill God’s mission and save his people. Therefore, God would give him glory greater than his humiliation—every creature will bow the knee and hail him: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Matthew 21:1-11

Of what significance is the fact that Jesus is the Son of David?

The Messiah was foretold to be of David’s family (2 Samuel 7:16), and Jesus could trace his line back to King David through both his mother and his earthly father. The Jewish people knew well that the Messiah must have these credentials.

The great King comes to his city and to his temple! He could have come with all the power and glory of the Son of God. He could have ridden a thunderstorm as his chariot with legions of angels striding beside him and creation itself singing forth the praise of its Maker. But look how he comes: Not on the storm, but on a donkey; not accompanied by heavenly warriors, but by fishermen with a spotty record of faith; not to the sound of creation singing, but to the shouts of fickle pilgrims who cheered him on Sunday but would desert him by Friday. Why did he come so humbly? Because he came not to rule us, but to save us. He came, not to command us, but to invite us. He came not to demand anything from us, but to give everything for us. He comes in the name of the Lord to save us.