Key verse: Mark 11:10
Big idea: The Son of God is the Son of David.
Fittingly, this week we begin with the triumphal entry to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and will end on Friday with the crucifixion. We will not be experiencing the final week of Christ's life in "real-time" because even though the gospel devotes a massive portion of its contents to a single week, even these 5 chapters are biased toward the last 24 hours. This final trip to Jerusalem is why Mark is writing and why Jesus came. There are no accidents in God's universe, certainly not here in the final days before history's climax. Jesus needs to go into Jerusalem, even though He knows that this will lead to His death. He has arranged every detail, down to the owner of the colt that knows He is coming for the animal.
But this is no ordinary animal for riding like you and I might choose between two cars at an airport. This is an announcement. If George Washington had put on a crown and taken a scepter at his inauguration, it would not have been any more clear (or audacious) than what Jesus was doing. Zechariah 9:9 says: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Should, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; Lowly, and riding upon an ass, And upon a colt the foal of an ass." No one road into Jerusalem on a colt by accident, least of all a Man from the tribe of Judah! Jesus was announcing that He was King. But He knew that they would reject Him and that claiming to be King would guarantee that He would be the ultimate Sacrifice.
In the Old Testament, we continually feel a tension between the idea that God intends for David's descendants to reign over Israel and that they have no king but God. But in Jesus, this mystery is finally solved. The Son of God has become the Son of David. This is how David called His own descendant Lord (Matthew 22:43-45). God Himself does rule and David's heir rules because God became a man from the line of David. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the people cried out "hosanna," it is because they wanted a Savior-King, who would rescue them from their enemies. But their King did not come to win victory for them by killing; He came to do it by dying. The two hopes of the Old Testament, the coming of the Lord and of David's Son, come together in the perfect love and power of the Cross.
Discussion idea: Sometimes people talk about someone who is assertive and loud as "strong." Who is stronger, Jesus riding humbly on a donkey to His death or Herod, crushing his enemies? Why?
Prayer focus: Lord, help me to see that everything I could ever hope for is found in you.