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06 Oct 2019

The Triumphal Entry [Matthew 21:1-11]
  • Topic: BIBLE PROPHECY, KINGDOM OF GOD, KNOWING GOD'S WILL, SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

Overview

"Has God made a mistake? " "Or has He forgotten me? " "Why would He allow this to happen? " These are the questions that Christians may struggle with in times of difficulty. And some may even be tempted to give up their faith. But the Bible paints a picture of God's perfect will in Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Besides declaring that He is the promised Messiah King, the Triumphal Entry speaks of the principles of the will of God. Discover from this sermon how God's will is totally sovereign, sometimes surprising, and is for your salvation! May God lead you to fight on in your faith, turn to Jesus for salvation, and to worship Him daily in your life as you hear His Word!

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We are beginning a new series in our journey through the book of Matthew. For the past two and a half years or so, we've been looking at this first Gospel book in the New Testament, and we come now to Matthew chapter 21. We have called this series, “The Messiah Revealed” because this is a series that focuses on the last week of the Lord's life here on earth. It begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in Matthew 21.

A young man was asking his dad, “Dad, I've just passed my driving test. Can you buy me a car?” The father said, “Well, I will if you fulfil three conditions. Number one, get your grades from C to A. Number two, read your Bible every day and number three, cut your hair. It's way too long!” The son says, “Alright, Dad, I will do that!”

So eight weeks later, he came back to his father and said, “Dad, my grades are improved from C to A and I've been reading my Bible every day. Can I have my car, please?” The father says, “No, you can't because your hair is still long, you have yet to cut it.” “But dad, I've been reading the Bible every day and I've read that people have long hair in a Bible. Samson had long hair, maybe Moses, I don't know, maybe Jesus. I want to follow Jesus, therefore I never cut my hair.” “Alright, that's why you will never have your car.” “Why?” “I want to follow Jesus.” “Well, Jesus walked everywhere!”

It is true Jesus in the Bible walked everywhere except in a story that we read here in Matthew 21. Jesus entered Jerusalem not on His feet as it were, but He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. This marks the entrance into the last week of the life of Jesus. This last week really stretches us from Matthew 21, all the way to Matthew 28.

So there's a disproportionately large amount of information in the Bible given about the last week of Jesus’ life when compared to the first 33 years of His life. And this triumphal entry is traditionally known to take place on Sunday, a day which people still celebrate as Palm Sunday. And this is also the beginning of a very hectic busy week in the city of Jerusalem.

This really is the week where the people are preparing for a great feast - the feast of the Passover. So people from all over the world, Jews from all over the world, much like Muslims from all over the world would gather for haj and for their pilgrimage. In those days, Jews would gather from all over the world to come back to Jerusalem to offer their Passover lamb.

So this is a busy time, the city must be thronging with crowds, many people gathered there and that is the context Jesus entered Jerusalem announcing symbolically His kingship. So there are some simple stages we see in the story.

1]. Preparation
First, we see a preparation for the triumphal entry. Jesus needed a ride. So the original Grab service starts here in Matthew 21:1-2. “Jesus, when He drew near to Jerusalem came to Bethpage, to the Mount of Olives, and He sent two disciples saying to them, go into the village in front of you and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her …” young donkey. So mommy, with a baby as it were, the younger one. “… So bring these two donkeys, untie them, bring them to me.” Grab service.

Now something unique about this donkey in that this is an unbroken animal. In other words, “No one has ever sat on that colt.” [Luke 19:30] No one has ridden this donkey before. Now the disciples then ask, “But Lord, who will ever just give us their donkeys?” “Don't worry, let me give you the password,” Jesus said. “If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord needs them and he will send them at once.”” [Matthew 21:3] So that's what they did and they brought the donkey, the mama, mom and the baby, the smaller one to Jesus.

And this took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, humble and mounted on the donkey on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” [Matthew 21:4-5]

So this is a kind of symbolic ceremony, this is a symbolic declaration that this Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet who sat on the donkey, who enters Jerusalem is the King of Israel. This was prophesied some 500 years before Jesus actually entered Jerusalem and this is a quotation from Zechariah 9:9. So for those of you who have never read, Zechariah might be a good time for you to read it. Warning, it's not easy, but therein is this beautiful promise, messianic promise that the King will come, mounted on a donkey.
2]. Procession
The preparation is now done, then we enter the procession when Jesus actually rode that donkey entering the city. So the procession leads us to what the people did. “They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks and He sat on them.” [Matthew 21:7] So the disciples having brought the two animals, took off their cloaks and placed it on the donkeys. A kind of draping it with some kind of a makeshift saddle if you may have it, so that the King may ride on the donkey comfortably.

Not only did the disciples take their cloaks, the people, the people gathered in Jerusalem did likewise. “Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road.” [Matthew 21:8] Now the reason why they do that is a kind of symbolic gesture to say, “We bow and we respect and we know You as our King.”

This is a symbolic gesture that is not unique here, it happened before in Israel. Hundreds of years ago in 2 Kings 9:13 , we read, “Every man of them took his garment, put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaim Jehu is king.” So centuries ago, the people of Israel already owned Jehu as King, recognized Jehu as king with this symbolic act of casting their cloaks on the floor.

So when Jesus came, [he] they did likewise. They spread their clocks on the road and there were others who cut branches from the trees. So they needed something to celebrate and they took branches from trees. What tree? Durian tree? Mango tree? Well, a very specific tree, “They took from the palm trees.” [John 12:13] And the palm tree or the palm branches when waved are meant to be a symbol of victory, of deliverance.

This is not only in this triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, but this is also what will happen in the future. When saints of all tribes, of all languages of all nations will gather before God, we will be waving palm trees. Revelation 7:9, it says, “After this, I looked and behold a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, that is Jesus, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.”

So that will be what we will do next time, at least one of the things we will do. So this is a symbol of victory, this is a symbol of deliverance. They are saying, they are symbolically portraying, “We know You are King and we know You will deliver us. That's why we wave our palm trees. O, this is what we have been waiting for!”
3]. Praise
So with all this symbolism, it becomes explicit then with their praise. That's what they are saying. With their language, with their body language, with their gestures. But from their lips, they also shout out, “Hosanna to the son of David!” [Matthew 21:9] We sing the song, Hosanna. We hear the word, ‘Hosanna’ but what does the word, ‘Hosanna’ really mean? No, hosay bo [are you alright in Hokkien dialect] ah. Hosanna, Hosanna, what does it mean? Hosanna means save now, we beg you. Oh, we beg you, we pray to You, save us now! That's the meaning of the word, ‘Hosanna’.

I have no doubt that the vast majority of the Jewish people gathered that day, were crying hosannas in that they was hoping that this Jesus would deliver them from the Roman Empire. You see, they were a people controlled by Rome. They had to pay taxes to Caesar, they were not ruling themselves and they hated the Roman Empire.

There was a seething anger, animosity towards the Roman people. We know that for example, 35 years after Jesus died, they staged a rebellion against the Roman Empire. And as far as we know, in AD 70, the whole of Jerusalem was razed to the ground. They were destroyed by the Roman Empire but they staged a revolt because there was a deep anger towards their ruler, Caesar.

And so it is very likely at this point of time, they were very unhappy about the Roman Empire and wanted and was hoping that Jesus will be that deliverer. So the cloaks, so the palm branches. They say, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” The phrase, ‘Son of David’ is something we looked at just one or two weeks back, isn't it? It is a very pregnant term! It's a very loaded term, very rich term, because that is a term that represents the Promised Messiah.

God had promised David that from his descendant will come a King who will have an everlasting kingdom. He will be the everlasting King. He will not be like Saul or David or Solomon. He would have an everlasting kingdom. And later on, Isaiah will tell us that this Messiah, this King will be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. And actually, if you think about it, the promise of this Saviour is not just during David's time in 2nd Samuel, but in dates all the way back in Genesis, when God said to Adam and Eve, “The seed of the woman will crush the serpent's head.”

When God said to Abraham, “In your seed, in your descendants, shall all nations be blessed.” So the Jewish people have always been waiting for the Son of David, for the Messiah, for the promised Saviour, the Saviour King, the everlasting King. And so they are saying, “We recognize Jesus. You are the Son of David. You are the Messiah. So come, save us now, we beseech You!”

The Jewish crowd was also a very, I will say, an educated crowd,. They really knew their Bible because not only did they say, “Son of David.” They also said in verse 9, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” Now this, I dare say, none of you would know where it comes from because I also didn't know where it came from. I had to research it.

But they knew where it came from! They quoted the verse! It's a passage from? Anyone wants to stunned me, surprised me, shocked me, pleasantly so? It comes from Psalm 118: 24-26. “Blessed or this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Save us we pray, O LORD, O LORD, we pray, give us success. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

So the nation of Israel have been waiting for the Messiah and when Jesus comes in on the donkey, they cast their cloaks on the ground. They waved their palm trees, “He is our Saviour! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” That's the praise that flowed from their lips.

Now when people celebrate Jesus, you can be sure there will be a group who is not very happy. They are the? The Pharisees, and rightly so Luke 19:39-40 tells us that they were not happy at all. “The Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”” They wouldn't call Jesus, Lord. They just call Him, teacher. “Please ask Your disciples to shut up.” Basically, that's the point.

But Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones will cry out.” If they shut up, someone has to give praise. And if need be, the stones will give praise because this is exactly right. The Son of David come. The Messiah has come. The King has come and bless is the Name of He … blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.

So that's really the story in Matthew 21 - the triumphal entry of Jesus. I say this is a very significant event in the Bible because this is one event that is recorded in all four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. What's the significance then? Well, I mean, we don't gather to church just for history lesson. We are here to know God's Word and how it applies to our lives. What it teaches us about our relationship with God. So what can we learn? What can we glean out of a story like this?
Application 1: God’s Will is Totally Sovereign
I suggest to you three headings, but actually, it all boils down to one simple application. I think in this story of the triumphal entry Island. Number one, God's will is totally sovereign. God is absolutely in full control.

Everything that you see in the triumphal entry speaks of poise and control and sovereignty. There is nothing random. There is nothing out of line. There is no detail that is left out. It is absolutely and exactly the way God has planned it.

It starts with the foreknowledge of Jesus with regards to the two donkeys. You say, “It's such a minor detail.” But it's a detail that is exact. Jesus knew the Grab service - it's the donkey and a colt. And He knew exactly where to find this donkey. And He knew exactly the password that is needed –
the Lord needs them. That's it!

The control and sovereignty of Jesus is also seen in a way He rode that unbroken animal. Now if you have … I think, in Singapore, it's very hard for us to understand because we don't really rear horses or donkeys or, or animals like that, to ride, so we may not be familiar. But when animals are young, and they've never been ridden on before, it's very difficult to ride them. Because it's like, “What are you doing on my back? Get off me!” That there will be what an unbroken animal will do. Yet in this story, as DA Carson would say, “In the midst, then, of this excited crowd, thronging with people, loud noises, shouting and swelling crowds, in the midst then of this excited crowd, an unbroken animal remains calm under the hands of the Messiah, who controls nature.” Absolute sovereignty!

There's another detail that speaks of the sovereignty of God and that is the timing. Don't underestimate the importance of timing. Now Jesus could have come in earlier, or later, or not at all. But the Bible tells us Jesus came into Jerusalem in precisely the right day and hour.

Earlier on, people have wanted to make Jesus King, but He didn't want to be King. For example, in John chapter 6:15, “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him King, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by Himself.” He … “It's not yet time! Don't make Me King! Don't announce Me as King!”

In John chapter 7:30, “They were seeking to arrest Him, but no one laid a hand on Him because His hour had not yet come.” It's not the right time! He is King, but it's not the right time to announce it. And you will recall that after He has done amazing miracles, taught wonderful things, Peter had said, “You're the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” He didn't want it to be public knowledge. In Matthew 16:20. “Then He strictly charged the disciples to tell no one, that He was the Christ.” That He was the Saviour King! Don't tell people yet! In fact, He said this three times because it's not yet time.

But on this very day, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” [Psalm 118:24-26] Now, what's so special about this day, this particular day? Well, as I've mentioned before, this is what day? This is Palm Sunday.

Now I want to be clear with you. Majority and tradition tell us that it happened on Palm Sunday. The Bible only gives you one passage that has reference to any chronological link there and it's found in John chapter 12. But even then, it is hard to know for sure if it is really Sunday because there are some who say it is on Monday - the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

So I want to say this is not so straightforward, as you would imagine it to be. In fact, there are people who cannot really agree as to the year Jesus died. Some think it's A.D. 30. Some think it's A.D. 32. Some think it's A.D. 33. Very hard! But based on maybe some research consensus, not universal of course, people think that Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

And they calculate it to be this particular day - the 10th day of Nisan. Not the Japanese car but the first month of the Jewish calendar. So the first month of the Jewish calendar would be the 10th day of Nisan. It corresponds to our March, April time.

This is a special day as well, because it is lamb inspection day. As I've told you, this is peak season in Jerusalem. It's around the period of the Passover feast and so people all over would come. Some bringing their worship, their sacrifice, their lambs and that would be the day that in the temple, lambs will be inspected because the Passover lamb must be one without blemish. You read that in Exodus 12.

So they … it takes time to examine for blemish. So Jesus entered Jerusalem at about the time people are bringing their lambs for inspection. I hope you get the clue. I hope you get the link. 1st Corinthians 5 tells us, “Jesus is our Passover.” So He is entering Jerusalem, going to face a few days of deep inspection by the nation before He's going to prove that He is indeed the Lamb of God, promised of old.

But besides that, the 10th day of Nisan is also special, because according to some calculations. Again, I want to qualify, it's one particular way of calculating that tells us this is the day that God has somehow prophesied of old, when Jesus will enter.

You say, “Where do you get that prophecy?” Well, that prophecy is that amazing one given by Daniel, in Daniel, chapter 9. That prophecy is what we known as ‘Daniel’s 70 weeks’. So let me read that to you and before I do that, I will tell you, what we're going to enter into the for the next 7, 8 minutes will be so chim [deep and complex in hokkien dialect] and difficult. That if you want to fall asleep, I give you permission to do so just. Just go to sleep and after seven, eight minutes, I'll wake you up and say “Eh, let's get back to the main point.” But these are the details, alright.

The details are given in Daniel’s 70 weeks. It reads in Daniel 9:24, “70 weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, that is Jerusalem, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring an everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet and to anoint the most holy place.”

Then we read, “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem, to the coming of an anointed One, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for 62 weeks it shall be built again with the squares and not moat but in a troubled time.” [Daniel 9:25]

“And after the 62 weeks, an Anointed One shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed and He shall make a covenant, a strong covenant with many for one week. And for half of the week He shall put an end to sacrifice and offering and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate until the decreed end is poured out on the desolater.” [Daniel 9:26-27]

You say, “What in the world did we just read?” By the way, it's not my words, it's the Bible words ah, you don't believe you go back and check your Bible, read the Daniel, it's, … I didn't invent anything, it's in your Bible. But you say, “What in the world is this?” Well, we call this - Daniel's 70 weeks.

It's a prophecy regarding the Jews - your people and Jerusalem, your city. God is telling Daniel what is going to happen after his time. And if you remember, there are 3 times segments represented in Daniel’s 70 weeks. You remember the numbers? First one, 7. Second one, 62. The third one, 1.

Now I want to say that I covered Daniel 70 weeks in our Daniel series some years back in two sermons. I'm cramping all in, in seven, eight minutes. How ridiculous is that! So if you really want to know the details and so on, check the sermon online.

But we in basic stroke, realize that there's three different segments 7, 62, 1. I want you to also know that when we read our English Bible, ‘weeks’ in the original Hebrew, it does not necessarily mean seven days. It literally is just sevens. Daniel's 70 sevens. That's how you should read it. Almost all preachers, commentators, [preach], pastors would recognize it's not about seven days, it's about sevens and it should be seven years.

So properly understood, it should be Daniel’s 70 sevens, with seven sevens, 62 sevens, and one seven. But then overview of Daniel 70 weeks will be this. The first phase is one of seven sevens, which gives you 49 years. 7 times 7, 49 lah. My, my son also knows.

The second segment is longer - 62 sevens. That will give you 434 years. And then the third segment will be one seven, which is just seven years. Now for the purpose of our study, I will not go into the last seven. That is quite intense, that takes another sermon. We're just going to look at the first two segments.

So, you remember in Daniel 9, the prophetic timeline, according to Daniel starts clicking when there is a word going forth to restore and build the city. So the command to restore Jerusalem starts this process. And then supposedly after one or after 49 years, after the 7 sevens, Jerusalem is fully restored. And then after that, another 62 sevens, 434 years later will be the coming of the Anointed One, the prince. We understand it to be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. One view takes it that way, at least.

So if you look at Nehemiah chapter 2, a precise day is given by which now Nehemiah appears before King Artaxerxes to ask permission to go back to his hometown to rebuild Jerusalem. And scholars have calculated that day to be the first day of Nisan in that year, in 445 BC. Trust me on that, or rather trust who I read from them, I didn't research that but someone tell me that alright, in the books.

So on the first day of Nisan 445 BC, the edict was given to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild. How long
then if first day of Nisan starts it moving, will it take for the prince, the anointed One to come? What's the period of time? Well, if you take this prophetic timeline approach, then you will take 49 plus 434, which gives you 483 years. Simple calculation, is 490 minus seven, minus the last week, so you have 483.

And you multiply it with the number of days. So how many days are there in a year? We all say, “365.” There's also the Leap Year thing, right? Very complicated lah ah. But for the Jewish calendar, they don't have a 365-day calendar, they use a 360-day calendar. So you take 483 multiply it by 360. You get? Okay la no maths genius here, we get 173880. You factor in the leap years and so on and it happens that the day Palm Sunday happens is the day that is reflected on this prophetic timeline.

Now is this really what to.. I'm not very sure, but it is possible, that's all I can say. Nevertheless, I want to say that during the time of Jesus, there is great anticipation amongst the people of the nation that the Messiah would come.

For example, we read of Simeon, he says in Luke 2:25. “Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon. And this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.” We know that he's waiting for the Messiah. Now, perhaps God and it is said that God did tell Simeon but there is this air of anticipation that is hinted here already, not only for Simeon, but also for Anna, “She began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” [Luke 2:38]

Anna was a widow, an elderly widow, but she was waiting for the Messiah. Somehow they knew the Messiah was coming. Not only the people in Israel, but even the Samaritans knew it, John, [chapter 20], chapter 4:25, who are Samaritans, the half breeds who are outside Israel by and large, even they have come to expect the Messiah because she said, “I know that Messiah is coming.”

So there is this air of anticipation. You say “Why?” Because I think people sort of understand the prophecy according to Daniel. They sort of understand it as such, and figured perhaps Jesus is coming soon. So on this very fateful day, this day that the Lord has made, Jesus entered Jerusalem. And all I'm trying to say, is with the donkey, how it was obtained, how it was ridden and on a very precise date itself. This is a picture lesson to tell you, God's will is totally sovereign.

There is no mistake! Jesus was not somehow caught up in some accident or misfortune, “Aiyoh, so suay [unlucky in Hokkien dialect] kena [being in Malay] caught, got to be crucified.” As if He has no choice. No! He's the Sovereign Lord, marching into Jerusalem in precisely the way God has prophesied, on precisely the day God has ordained, to do precisely what God has sent Him to do. And that is, He will be the Lamb of God. The Passover Lamb who would die for your sins. He would be the Messiah, the Christ, the everlasting King. And there will be no mistake whatsoever, because we know He is the chosen One.

So God's will is totally sovereign, in this graphic picture we are given.
Lesson 2: God’s Will is Sometimes Surprising
Secondly, very much linked to this is that even though God's will is totally sovereign, God's will is sometimes surprising. He's sovereign, but He often does things that are not what we expect. I'm sure the whole of Israel expected a military, powerful, conquering King.

The triumphal procession is a very Roman idea. In those days, when a Roman general or a Caesar or Emperor would win a war, they will come back with pomp and parade. So he usually comes in a chariot, golden chariot, that is pulled by beautiful, muscular, big, white steads or horses.

And then there'll be plenty of people – VIPs crowded, people all over singing and shouting and waving their swords in celebration of this military victory. So it is all high-class pride and pomp. But when Jesus came, He came not on beautiful white horses, but on a colt, on a foal, the beast of a burden, of burden. He came on a very humble donkey. He did not have people waving swords, but palm trees, palm branches. You see, what I think God is communicating is, “Yes, My King is coming, make no mistake about it. But He's a very different kind of King. He's not what you expect at all.”

You know, when Jesus came, the first, He came in a way nobody expected. Nobody would have figured out that the Messiah would die. You know that! Nobody figured it out! It's so far removed from their minds. But when you go back to the Old Testament and read it, you will see Isaiah 53, “He must be stricken. He must be afflicted.” O now, it makes sense! But when Jesus came, it was a surprise!

I want to say, we may study prophecy, eschatology, the study of future things and say, “Ah, that is exactly how Jesus will return, according to this time, according this to this manner.” Can I tell you that maybe God will surprise all of us? He may come in a way we totally didn't expect because just as He surprised everyone in the first coming, what makes you think he won't surprise you again? He may very well do so.

But the point is this - God's will is sometimes very surprising. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Just as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are His thoughts, His ways higher than ours. So we say, “God is sovereign, but sometimes He does things we don't expect.” So maybe you think, “I'm a follower of Jesus. I've been faithful. I've been studying the Bible but why is my marriage failing?”

“I'm, I'm puzzled! I'm bewildered! I don't know why? Is God real? I want to give up!” And it's so easy for you to think that because God doesn't do things the way you expect Him to do, that He's no God. But the triumphal entry tells us that even though He comes in a way we don't expect - He is God. He is sovereign.

And so even though it doesn't make sense, why your marriage is not working out, why your family is breaking down, why your health is breaking down, why you are not having a spouse even though you've been praying for a spouse, you've been single for a long while. God is still God. He is still sovereign. Recognize He is God, you are not! Humble yourself to know He's totally sovereign and His will is sometimes surprising.
Application 3: God’s Will is For Your Salvation
But let me say this, “If you're His child, it's always for your good.” Thirdly, I want to say God's will is for your salvation. Why come on a donkey? Why not come on a mighty horse?

You see, because Jesus is adopting a symbol of peace. The donkey is the animal of peace. You don't use it for war, you're going to lose if you ride a donkey. So is the animal of peace. And Jesus is using a picture of peace to communicate that He's not a military King, not to overthrow Rome, but here as their spiritual King - to bring them to peace with God.

Jesus could very well call down an army - a special army, a legion of angels. Just two seconds, a snap of a finger, and the entire Roman Empire will be wiped out. No question! But he didn't do that! Because as Zachariah 9:9 said, “He was righteous and having salvation is He.”

Why a donkey? Why humble? Because God is doing something higher than what Israel was expecting. Israel wanted a military political leader, God is giving them a great Saviour. God is saving them not from the tyranny of the Romans, God is saving them from the tyranny of sin. God is not just bringing them peace within the nation. God wants to bring them peace with Him.

So God's ways are not quite as our ways, but it's always better than our ways.

So my brethren, if you today are living in a kind of puzzle, a riddle. You're wondering why are supposed bad things happening to you. There are no bad things with God. All things work together for good to them that love God. And often times, surprising things work together for good to them that love God.

And if you today you are not a Christian, I want to say to you, “The message of the Bible is this - Jesus comes with salvation. We cannot save ourselves. If we could save ourselves, God wouldn't need to send His Son.” But ever since man sinned against God in the garden, we are incorrigibly sinful. We are so rotten and corrupted in sin. The Bible says, “We are depraved! We are hopeless! We are helpless! We cannot save ourselves.” Nothing you do is worth a single point of merit with God, that's why He gave His Son.

He gave His Son, facing the cross, so that He may die and be the Lamb, that sacrifice to take away the sin of the world. And I implore you today, not only to come to church service, but to come to Christ. To turn from your sin, and to believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the everlasting King, the One that the whole Old Testament is pointing to. He has already come. He has already died. He has already risen and all who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.

And I pray you will because if you don't, one day it will all turn very different, because Jesus will come back, the Bible tells us, and this time, He's not going to come back with a donkey, not with an animal of peace, but with an animal of war. We see in Revelation 19:11-13, “Then I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse, the One sitting on it is called, Faithful and True and in righteousness, He judges and makes war. He's clothed in a robe dipped in blood and the Name by which He is called is the Word of God.”

No question, this is about Jesus in His Second Coming. He's coming with vengeance. He's coming with, with a robe dipped in blood, there will be a huge punishment to those who refuse to believe in Him. “From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations and He will rule them with a rod of iron, He will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God, the Almighty.” [Revelation 19:15]

I say to you, “Even though you may be living a good life here in Singapore. Life is good, having a good living - nice house, nice family. Whatever you have, you are going to be in terrible trouble because God is angry with sinners.” He's angry with us because we are sinners, we are enemies, we're rebels in eyes of God. But even though God is a God of wrath who will judge sin, He's also a God of amazing love.

And so He sent His Son so that He may pay for those who will believe upon Him. This wrath and this love of God, meet beautifully at the cross of Jesus Christ. And I invite you to come to the cross, to look to what Jesus has done, that you may be saved from your sin.

Let's bow for word of prayer together. The Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ is that Jesus is the King. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Saviour. He boldly said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me.” My friends, there is only one way. There's only one Name given under heaven whereby man may be saved and that is Jesus Christ. Would you today, humble yourself and turn from sin and believe in Christ?

Maybe some of you have been in church for a long while. You grew up in church. You did many church things. But my question to you is not whether you know church activities, but do you know the Christ, personally, in your heart and life? I pray today you will humble yourself, repent and believe.

But I also know that maybe some of you are struggling, you're doubting, you're wondering if you're really saved? You're not sure or not certain, can I invite you to please let me know, let us know write in to us. We as a church, we exist to help you find a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

We don't want you to just come for church service. It's tragic if you come for church services your whole life, but you don't really know Christ! So I want to invite you if that is your question, there's something that bugs you, you want to make sure, please let us know and we will be so glad. The elders, the pastors, the leaders, the disciple makers in our church, we will be so happy to take you - lady with lady, guy with guy, to take you through the Gospel, that you may know for sure you have eternal life.

My dear brothers and sisters, maybe you are discouraged in your Christian life. You want to give it up, because you're in a mess - health wise, family wise, career wise. Maybe you've been saying, “God, I want to serve You in greater ways,” but somehow it's not coming through for you.

I want to say, “Don't judge God based on your assessment of your situation because His will is sometimes very surprising. And He's still sovereign and He's still good and His promise is still valid. All things do work together for good to them that love God.”

Dear church, even the stones will cry out if we remain silent, because He is the Christ. Would you today praise God with your life? Would you today worship Him with your life? This is my prayer, that you'll worship Jesus with your life. Don't live for this world. Don't live for yourself. Worship is about a living sacrifice, give yourself for His glory.

Father, we want to thank You this morning. We pray that Your Word will be sealed in our minds and burned into our hearts. And beyond that, we pray that Your Church will obey You, that we will keep trusting in You. Though there will be twists and turns the way we see it, help us to trust you that all is in Your control. Father, we pray that we will serve You with our lives and that many gathered here this morning, will repent and believe in Jesus. So bless each one we pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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