Sunday of Our King Coming to Jerusalem
December 2, 2018
He Comes at Just the Right Time
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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.’”
— MATTHEW 21:1–5 --
Jesus wasn't making His list and checking it twice. That is, He wasn't accomplishing His plan of salvation by ticking off boxes on checklist written on a scroll tucked up His sleeve.
It wasn't as though Jesus woke up on Palm Sunday, five days before He was crucified, and thought to Himself, “Okay, what prophecies do I need to fulfill today? Oh, right, today's the day when I ride the colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The eternal Son of God who created not the idea of time, but Time itself, chose to live in time and in our history. But while He chose to limit His use of His divine power for a time, it wasn't ever controlling Him. Jesus was just being Jesus. He did what right at just the right time and the prophets who lived hundreds of years before Jesus was born, were given insight into His deeds before they happened in time.
On the other hand, Time certainly pushes us around. And no other time than now. We have obligations to fulfill. Lists to make. Items to order. Tickets to buy. Boxes to wrap. Parties to attend. Lights to hang. Trees to chop (or assemble).
And then the world has the audacity to say that if you don't get it all done in time, you haven't had a real Christmas.
This is why Christ came to earth: to tell you that everything important is going to get done. He was born so that everything would get done. He rode into Jerusalem so that everything needed to save us would get done.
The crowds were exactly right to shout hosanna to Jesus because it meant that everything was about to get done. Hosanna means save us and our dear Lord did just that. His royal death on a lowly cross was the sacrifice for all our sin. But even the riding on a donkey was for us. We have a King who is gentle and rides on a donkey, a beast of burden, who at the end of the day, we can safely assume, sent the donkey back to its owner. Yet He was the King who became a donkey, a beast of burden, as He carried our sins on His back, on His heart, and on His very life.
This is why, so shortly before receiving His living body and blood for our salvation, we joyfully sing the words that proclaim His arrival, His advent:
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
We are singing to our King who came at just the right time into manger, who comes to us at this time into our ears and soon into our mouths, and who is coming back at just the right time.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Pastor Boehringer has been preaching Christ and Him crucified to himself and to his congregation at Gethsemane since 2009.