Who is this King of glory?

As [Jesus] 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.” (Luke 19:37-40 ESV)

Today was Palm Sunday. I have to say that I’ve always found Palm Sunday to be a little odd – after all, Jesus shows up to throngs of people very pleased to hail Him as King… and 5 days later they crucify Him. Seems like quite the dramatic shift, you know? I think the strangest part of it all is that Jesus does not seem particularly jazzed. I mean, most people get pretty excited about “triumphal entries” – when the Mavs won the NBA title last year, there was this huge parade through downtown Dallas. People went nuts, and nobody was more excited than the team being celebrated. But Jesus does not seem to be in a particularly celebratory mood to me.Of course, Jesus knows what the crowds do not – He is coming to Jerusalem to die.

In Psalm 24, we see the first glimpses of Palm Sunday being prophesied:

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!
(Psalm 24:7-8 ESV)

It’s true – the Lord is mighty in battle. As He sits on that little donkey, He is gearing up to conquer death by absorbing the full measure of God’s wrath against the sin of His people.

He is no normal King. Surely by now those following Him should have seen this. But they thought they were welcoming a king to Jerusalem who would meet their expectations, who would fit nicely into the role they imagined a king should. When you are dealing with a normal dude, that is fine – wise, in fact. But in Jesus, the crowds were welcoming the King of a kingdom that reaches far beyond the scope they had imagined. Jesus isn’t coming just to save Israel; He is coming to save the WORLD. He isn’t coming to overthrow the Romans; He’s coming to overthrow sin and death, to rescue people from a bondage far more devastating and deep than what even the worst tyrant could cook up.

Jesus is not going to match our expectations either. He is about much bigger business than we tend to think. Instead of wanting Him to come hop on the throne in my “kingdom,” I need to catch sight of the big picture and see that He has made a place and role for me in His kingdom – His rule is over everything in creation.

Ordinary kings don’t have issues with inanimate objects trying to cry out praises to them. After all, a stone is a stone, and a man is a man. But Jesus – He is the Maker of stones and men alike. He is their Sustainer. And while it is certainly true that Jesus came to save sinners, He came also to restore ALL that broke when we fell. In that way, He is the Redeemer even of the rocks!


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