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The Entry of a King

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Anticipating Christ's Ultimate Arrival

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SKU: 16-08 Category: Date: 3/20/2016 Scripture: Zechariah 9:9-10 Tags: , , , ,
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Christ came as victor over our sins to provide us peace with God, he will come again as victor over sinners to bring peace to the world, and in the interim he is able to instill peace in our hearts in any and every situation.

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16-08 The Entry Of A King

The Entry of a King
Anticipating Christ’s Ultimate Arrival
Zechariah 9:9-10

Hey Baby-Boomers, do you remember the Thomas Guide? Thomas Guide. Some of you Gen-Xers going, “I got a Thomas Guide too.” But you Millennials don’t even know what we’re talking about. We just enjoy having a little knowledge that you don’t have. And you don’t even get it because you know, you’ve grown up with these GPSs and these map apps and you don’t know what it’s like to reach into the back seat or the floorboard behind the seat and pull out the old Thomas Guide, try and figure out where in the world you are. See that’s what GPS and map apps do for you, they tell you exactly where you’re at. You Millennials you know the closest you get to reading a paper map is at the mall when you have to go up to the directory, and even then they help you, they put a little red star, they say, “You are here.” See that was the problem with the Thomas Guide, you never quite knew where you were and it’d take you a long time to figure that out. (0:58)

I think it’s important for us, as we read our Bibles to know exactly where we’re at. And it’s a lot like the Thomas Guide, there’s no GPS attached, you’ve got to figure out when you read the Bible, where are we with all these prophetic statements, in the beginning, the middle, in the end of the Bible. I’ve got to know, “where are we” on this timeline. My particular interest this morning is to figure out where we are on the timeline as it relates to Palm Sunday, as it relates to the triumphal entry, as it relates to this ushering in of the King into Jerusalem. Now, I guess you’re going to say, “I know that,” it’s 2000 years ago, we’re 2000 years after that. Well, if you’ve pulled out your worksheet already this morning and you see our passage there printed for you, or I’d rather you turn there, Zechariah chapter 9 verses 9 and 10, you start to recognize if you just glance at what I’ve put on the outline for you, there must be more than one of these. And there are, and speaking of mall directories, it’s kind of like when all those old stores like, I’m going to speak to the Baby-Boomers. Buffums, Robinson’s May, you can be a Gen-Xer to know that, I can go way back to Two-Guys, Fedco, Zody’s, Gemco. See when all these stores started, you can go through all these mergers and acquisitions it’s seemed like the only guy left in the game was Macy’s, did you notice that? And then you go to the mall and you have like five Macy’s, they’re all these Macy’s at the mall, and when you’re not looking at the directory and you’re just kind of following around your wife in the mall or whatever, you pass a Macy’s and then in another 200 yards, you know, you pass another Macy’s and you get confused because there’s more than one Macy’s. You wonder what’s the difference, they carry very different things in each stores and you don’t really care anyway, you just along for the ride. But the point is that you can get confused when there’s more than one of these and when it comes to the triumphal entry of Christ there’s certainly more than one of those in the Bible (3:07)

And so what I want to do is figure out where the red start should go and where are we in relation to all these things and Zechariah chapter 9 will help us. Zechariah chapter 9 you need to know as we look back on a 2000 year old event when palm branches were waved and coats were being laid in the middle of the road as Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday what we call the Triumphal Entry. You need to understand this particular passage, Zechariah 9 verses 9 and 10, it’s penned, rough and dirty, 500 years before Christ. So around 500BC you have this promise laid down to us in the scripture regarding the coming of Christ into the gates of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, and you have this picture that is so closely tied to that event that both Matthew and John quote this passage verbatim. Not to mention that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record in great detail this Triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem that we commemorate on this day. So let’s read this together and see if we can’t figure out where we are in relation to this. As a matter of fact that we’ll find that there are certainly more than one Triumphal Entries described here. Let’s start in verse number 9. (4:19)

These words are probably the most familiar words to you in all of the book of Zechariah. Did you find Zechariah by the way, two doors down from Matthew? That’d be the easy way to find it if you’re reluctant to even try. Zechariah 9 verse 9, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Why? Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, on the foal of a donkey. Now there’s the very familiar words that both Matthew and John quote as they relay their depiction historically of this scene of Jesus riding into Jerusalem and that’s usually where the quotation in our minds and memories ends and we don’t ever read verse 10, but we better read verse 10 because as we’ll see here we have something else going on here in verse 10 although it’s related to the entry of the king. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak – now here’s a key word – peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Now that starts to sound like a lot of those Christmas carols we sing. A lot of those things we hear about at Christmas time, that this child is going to be born and he’s going to be some kind of leader and it’s going to be all over the world and the increase of his government will know no end and we think, well, this has to do with Christ. Well, sure it does. But what we need to see is a clear distinction between verse 9 and verse 10, which I’d like to point out and of course you’re going to find real quickly we live somewhere between these two triumphal entries. (6:00)

But let’s deal with that key word I made you underline or at least suggested that you underline the word peace. If you remember a sermon that I preached not to long ago through Luke as it spoke of the fact that Jesus is not coming to this world to bring peace. Do you remember that? Jesus asks the question, “Do you think I came to the world to bring peace?” And that made us go back to that sermon that I preached a long time ago that I referred you to, kind of the subtitle was the case of the missing sigma, and we tried to deal with the Christmas carols misrepresentation of the passage about peace on earth good will to men, remember all of that? Just smile at me if you do and smile at me if you don’t. Okay, great (6:39)

We recognize that when Jesus got clear about what he came to bring at the first advent, it wasn’t peace on earth it was peace among those with whom his favor rests. That’s a different kind of peace. Now I’d like to start by looking back to the 2000 year old triumphal entry. What kind of triumph was it? What kind of salvation did he bring? Why was he coming in humble riding on a donkey, on a colt on a foal of a donkey? What was that all about? Well, let’s put it down this way, number one, as we look back on the first triumphal entry of the past, we need in our minds to understand that what happen there was complete peace with God. Let’s put it this way, we need to make sure that we’ve secured complete peace with God. Jot that down and then let’s try and understand that from this passage. (7:28)

1. The Triumphal Entry of the Past – Secure Complete Peace With God

There is something happening there when Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that is declaring to the nations that he is bringing peace, peace to those on whom God’s favor rests. Complete peace with God. Certainly that’s how it’s described as Paul writes in Romans chapter 5. The whole point of his coming, his first coming and his first triumph on earth is for the Messiah to bring us peace with our maker. That’s what we need. Now let’s understand a little bit of this context by looking at verse number 9 and remembering what this peace is all about. This peace is about if you read a passage like this 500 years before the coming of Christ written about the Jewish Messiah to a bunch of Jewish people after the Babylonian captivity. You’d say this seems very Jewish, very specific; it looks like this is all about the nation of Israel and of course it is because it uses the word Jerusalem there in the very beginning of the verse. Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, whatever that is. Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem. Now if I know anything about poetic Hebrew parallelism, which we read all throughout the Old Testament, you’d say, well, if I’m trying to figure out what that weird Zion word is, I guess it seems to parallel with the word Jerusalem. And you’re going to say, there it is you’ve got this promise about a King that is coming to people and the “you” in that verse, “behold your king is coming to you”, it’s referring to the Jewish people; they’re going to get their Jewish Messiah. But just for completeness and to understand this when you see the word “Zion” used in the Bible, this should be a good homework assignment to study the use of that word, you’ll recognize that it starts to broaden a bit of what we understand regarding the geographical city in the Old Testament that we know of as Jerusalem or the modern city for that matter, to something beyond that. As a matter of fact if you really know your Bible, you’ll say, well I do understand that Zion was a literal hill in Jerusalem on which Jerusalem was built. There were several hills there around Jerusalem, and one of the hills or the mountains if you want to call it that was Mount Zion and Jerusalem was built on that so this is probably just a reference to that prominent mountain on which the temple was built. And you’ve got Jerusalem there within the gates. This is all about a dusty city in the Old Testament that survived to this day. (9:45)

Well, that’s true but I want to show you when you start studying the word “Zion” in the Bible you start to recognize both poetically through out the Psalms and certainly when we get to the New Testament in passages like Galatians chapter 4 and Hebrews chapter 12 you start to recognize that what the Bible is really getting at is something much bigger than that. It’s a lot like the study of the temple in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament that simply represents on earth something that’s greater in heaven, the dwelling place of God and so it is with this word. Let me explain that to you and get you excited about this verse being written directly to you, in America, in the twenty-first century. (10:22)

Turn with me if you would to the Psalms, which of course is the song book of Israel in the Old Testament, Psalm 87. Now if you’re looking for songs for the Jewish people to sing to their God about their coming Jewish Messiah and their Jewish capital, this song just will blow your mind because it doesn’t seem to fit. It’s a strange passage about Zion, let’s read it. (10:47)

Psalm 87 verse 1. You can see it’s a Psalm of the sons of Korah. Those are the musicians of the ancient nation of Israel. It’s a song, here it comes, verse 1. On the holy mount stands the city he founded; well there you go. You said Zion was one of the hills, one of the mountains they called it, a really small hill for a mountain and you’re thinking well, okay, maybe that’s what we’re talking about. Well, yes, verse 2, the LORD loves the gates of Zion, well, that’s the city, more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Jacob of course the southern part of Israel, well that’s what we’ve got here, right? Well, keep reading. Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. So often in the Bible you have this, a statement about something that we know of, that’s literal that’s right in front of you, and now we start getting over tones that take our minds to something greater. Now does God live in Jerusalem? Well, I don’t know there’s that box, that if you take the top off, it’ll melt your eyes and all of that, it sits in that, you know, the temple. So kind of, I guess his glory kind of dwells there. No, really the city of God is not on earth. Even as Solomon said when he built the place and he built the temple, God does dwell here, he can’t dwell here, he dwells in heaven. So there’s something transcendent about God, the city of God if you want to get specific, is something greater than that. And then you have the word Selah, do you know what the word Selah means? Well neither do I. Sorry, to be honest you know pastors have said they know, but really we don’t know. It is some kind of term in Hebrew that is not clearly defined, we can only really understand it because it wasn’t widely used outside the Bible in a way that we can come up with some entry in our Hebrew dictionaries but we do recognize it as a seemly specialized term within the Psalter, the songbook of Israel, that probably has something to do with some kind of musical interlude you know where the lyrics stop and the music plays, so maybe that’s what it is. But when you find it separating these phrases it seems that’s it’s always consistently coming at the end of a phrase that puts your cheek into your fist, that makes you think, “What is going on in this passage?” And so some preachers even talk about it’s a time to pause and to think about the last thing that was just said there in the lyrics. And perhaps that’s the case, you see certainly the end of a phrase and like a lot of Hebrew literature you get to the end of that phrase and there’s the punch line, now ponder that, meditate on that, think about that. (13:05)

So we’ve gone from talking about a hill that seems to be in tribe of Jacob there, the southern part of Israel and the Lord loves the gates of Zion and glorious things are spoken of that place and it’s the city of God. Now think about that. Now verse 4 blows your mind. Among those who know me, now who’s speaking? The Lord. I mention Rahab, now that’s not the person that put the scarlet, you know, indicator on the wall; we’re talking about here the way that we poetically speak of the ancient enemy of Israel, Egypt, Egypt, this terrible oppressive place that’s become a picture of the archetypal enemy of Israel, Rahab, Egypt. And if that, you think I don’t know if I trust the pastor on that one, well how about this one? I know you know that Babylon is not friends with Israel. They ended up being the one through Nebuchadnezzar leadership that destroyed the temple. So you’ve got Rahab, Egypt, you’ve got, Babylon another enemy of Israel, behold Philistia, what do you call someone from Philistia? You call them a Philistine, you know any famous Philistines that were really good chums with Israel? No. You know some that were archenemies.
David had to kill one just to rise to the throne, what was his name? Goliath. I mean these Philistines were archenemies. Then you’ve got Tyre, that prosperous commerce center of Phonecia and they weren’t always on good terms with Israel. And Cush, which is you might have in your margin some reference to what it’s also called in the scripture, that’s the southern region down the Nile in south Egypt that we know of in other places in the Bible as Ethiopia, so all the way down there. So again how did this sentence start? Verse 4, among those who know me I mention Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, wow and what do you say when you think of those nations? “This one was born there.” Where’s there? Well, we’re talking about Zion, the city of God. Well, how can people from Cush, if they’re from Cush, Ethiopia, born there, there must have been a lot of ancient travel going on. No, we’re not talking about physical birth, keep reading. And they say, verse 5, and of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her.” How can that be? These people from all these various nations even enemies of Israel you got people picked out, there’s John, Jim, Joe whatever those anglicized words here, names born in me. That one’s born in me. Now it starts to sound like the book of Revelation, to put it in New Testament vocabulary. He calls forth people and draws them to himself from every tongue tribe and nation. Here are a bunch of people plucked out from all these nations all over the world and he says that one is born in her. What’s her? Zion, the city of God. (16:00)

For the Most High himself will establish her, this plan of people born in this city. The LORD records, verse 6, as he registers the people. So God in this poetic picture has got his book, his registry, he’s doing his census here, and he’s got peoples names and he registers them from all these different nations and he says, this one was born there. Now those are according to verse 4, people that know God. His people that are established in this family of God. To put it in words that we just read in Zechariah 9, they’re born of her, they’re daughters of her. (16:39)

Now you’ve got daughters of Jerusalem, not any of us here, very few of us probably could claim to be daughters of Jerusalem, but if you’re a daughter of Zion you can be from Rahab, Babylon, Philistia, you can be from Cush, you can be from Tyre, you can be from Canada even, I don’t know. You can be from anywhere and be born of him and recorded in a special register as being born, and we’re not talking about physical birth, we’re not talking about nationalities, we’re talking about people from every tongue tribe and nation who are as Jesus said to Nicodemus born again and their names are recorded in the New Testament phrase for that is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Now you read a passage like this where there the word is employed daughters of Zion I just want you to see yourself in Zechariah chapter 9. And here’s the command, rejoice greatly not just people who have descended from Abraham who live in Jerusalem in the postexilic period, no. Hey daughters of Zion, hey if you’re a child born in a celestial city you put your trust in God, rejoice. Why? Because your king is coming to you, here’s the description now, righteous and having salvation is he, humble, and the expression of that, mounted on a donkey, on a colt on the foal of a donkey. (17:52)

Now 500 years after this was penned, Jesus rides into town and apparently it was so non-threatening that the skittish Roman officials gave him a permit for this little parade. Right, no one quashed it and yet it raised such hopes in the people that immediately they start waving palm branches as they’re gathering for the Passover. And they’re laying down their coats and people are crying out, “Hosanna”. So passionate and divisive was this simple gesture of riding into town on a donkey, on the foal of a donkey that the leaders, the Jewish leaders, they were infuriated by this. Now they saw the connection that this is a claim of kingship. And when the people cried out Hosanna as I preached on many times before you can read your Bibles and hopefully find a footnote, that word means, save us, save us. And it says in this text, he’s coming to save, but what kind of salvation is he bringing? Well, what they had in mind may not be what the Bible has in mind. I’ve mentioned to you that the first coming of Christ was to bring salvation and as it was announced when Gabriel said to Mary, when she was found to be with child, your son is going to be the savior, that’s why they gave him the name Jesus. Because Jesus the angelisized form in our day or the Helenized form in Greek is the Hebrew expression of the word Joshua or in Hebrew, Yashua, and Yashua means in Hebrew, Yahweh saves. So he’s going to have a name that he is the savior. And here’s how Gabriel’s line goes, you can complete it in your mind. Gabriel says to Mary, “There will be a child born to you, and you shall call his name Jesus for he shall – according to Matthew 1:27 – and he shall save their people from their – do you know it? – sins. See, he came at the first coming to solve the sin problem that stands as hostile toward us and God. That a holy God cannot embrace the sinful person and God’s going to take care of the barrier that exists between them. This thing according to Colossians it was nailed to the cross that took away that wall of separation between us and God. As Isaiah 49 talks about that problem that we have with God that alienates us and now it’s going to be solved because Christ came as the savior to save us from sin. Well, how did he do that? By the transfer of his own righteousness to sinful people. That’s why when you read here that he’s a king coming, offering salvation he’s described as righteous. Now were there other righteous kings in the Old Testament? Well, yes, Josiah, Asa, I mean the most righteous one I suppose is the man after God’s own heart, who’s that? King David, well he was righteous, well I guess relatively speaking because you don’t have to look too long and pull back too many curtains to see what’s going on in David’s resume and how righteous was he? Ask Uriah, right? You know who Uriah is right? He got him murdered by proxy, stole his wife from him. So we had some righteous kings but we never had a righteous, righteous king. You know when the Bible speaks of righteousness, absolute righteousness, like in Psalm 147, it speaks of a righteousness that belongs in a complete and absolute sense to the Lord alone. Only the Lord in his glory is righteous. Well, is that what they mean? (21:16)

Turn with me if you would if you’re still in the Psalter, turn to Psalm 24. Psalm 24, I want to show you the divine orchestration of Biblical prophesy that sometimes you find even when there’s not a clear prophetic statement about the future. Here’s Psalm 24 and in God’s providence this becomes prophetic, at least with a small p, because when it comes to the people within the temple courts in the first century we find from the rabbinic writings that the daily reading of scripture when it came to the first day of the week was Psalm 24. Now I want you to think about that. In the first century through as we study the history of rabbinic leadership and the liturgy of worship on the temple mount they would read this text on Sunday. Right? The big day was the Sabbath, the seventh, the last day, now you’ve got the first day of the week and you had Sunday scripture reading and it was in the liturgy this text. Now Jesus chooses to ride in, in his fulfillment of Zechariah 9 as this text is being read. On the temple mount and outside they’re saying, save us, save us and the righteous one, when they said this man does all things well, here comes the righteous one without a blemish as later writers say he’s tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. And look at what the text was as they were reading on the temple mount that day. (22:35)

Verse 7, Lift up your heads, O gates! Psalm 24:7 this is how it ended. And be lifted up, O ancient doors – now we’re talking about an entry here – that the King of glory may come in. Now there’s only one king that’s righteous in an absolute sense, the king of glory. That’s what the scripture says. I said Psalm 147, I meant Psalm 145 if you’re really tracking with every reference here, verse 17. But here it says listen the king of glory is going to come in, if the gates would open up. Who is the king of glory? Well, I’m glad you asked. It is, now here you see L-O-R-D with those capitals, that’s God’s proper name, Yahweh. Yahweh strong and mighty, Yahweh mighty in battle! The triune God he’s coming through the gates of Jerusalem, how can that be? Well, outside they heard the din of the crowds crying out Hosanna, well here comes through the gates this fulfillment of Zechariah chapter 9 while they’re reading the daily Bible reading that day on the temple mount as the Levites read it they’re reading lift up your heads O gates, lift them up O ancient doors that the king of glory may come in. Who’s that? That must be the righteous one. Who is the he king of glory, the Lord of hosts, the king of glory. Could it be anymore emphatic than that? So here’s a picture of the entry of Christ coming in, not on a white charger, not to provide political salvation but coming to provide spiritual salvation. What is that? You’ve got a sin problem that needs to be solved. Five days later he would be hung up on a cross after a kangaroo court and all the betrayal in the garden and on Friday afternoon he hangs there on a Roman execution rack, having his life cut short in the middle of this ministry it seemed in human perspective and what happened to the rabbi the righteous one who never did anything wrong and never spoke any sin and in his mouth there was no deceit, and according to the Bible all of us are going to sin with our mouths according to the book of James yet here’s one perfect, righteous and he comes through the gates as the king of glory on that day, and within a week he’s being hung on a cross as the crucified one to solve the problem of sin, because the wages of sin is alienation from God. That’s another way to describe the word death, and that death is going to be fixed by the king coming in and offering himself in a humble manner like a lamb that is lead to the slaughter, that’s how humble this was, the righteous king having salvation as it was prophesied from the beginning by Gabriel to save their people from their sins. Humble mounted on a donkey on a colt on a foal of a donkey. And this was bizarre to think of a king riding on a donkey, on a foal of a donkey, doing anything spectacular or amazing that wasn’t unheard of in ancient near eastern monarch to ride on mules or donkeys, we see that even in the Bible. But when they go to war they’re in chariots and they have war horses, that’s what they have. So here this is something different. He seems that in triumph he’s coming but he hasn’t brought a sword and he doesn’t have an army with him and the Roman soldiers standing around didn’t even see this as a threat to quash it because this is, I don’t know, a peaceful demonstration. (25:48)

If you have time turn with me real quickly, I don’t know where you’re going so I guess you have time, you’re here. Genesis 49, if you have the strength, call up Genesis 49. Now Zechariah chapter 9 is 500 years before Christ. If you run the clock back 1300 years before that, 1350 you’ve got about 1850 BC Jacob is about to die. Jacob has been renamed by God and he was given a new name, and that new name was Israel. So the namesake of the whole nation is blessing the twelve sons who become the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He gets to Judah in Genesis 49. Drop down to verse 10 as he speaks of Judah. Genesis 49:10, the scepter, what’s a scepter? It’s that bejeweled, bedazzled stick that the king holds in his hand, right that picture of a leader, the long scepters were something you could sit there between your feet, and it says, the scepter shall not depart from Judah. This leader in this tribe, the ruler is going to come from; the king is going to come from this. Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until – there’s going to be an ultimate king from Judah – tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Of all the nations, now here’s something interesting, verse 11, binding his foal, this young donkey, to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine. He’s not attaching horses to chariots; he’s taking his gentle animal, this young animal and tying it to a vine, a very productive vine. And then this weird picture and he has washed his garments in wine. Now if you’ve got clothes to wash this afternoon, don’t wash them in wine. You’re going to ruin them; they’ll be stained, stained forever. No, but that’s what he does. His vesture, or his clothing, in the blood – here’s an image – of grapes. (28:02)

Now what kind of king is a king who can rightly hold a scepter in his hand like he has the glory of some monarch and he doesn’t ride in a chariot with a white horse, he’s riding in with a donkey, with a young colt, a foal of a donkey. And he doesn’t tie it to a chariot he hooks it to a vine. And speaking of vines that image of blood that even Jesus connected there in the last supper in the upper room. Oh, his cloths are stained with them, is that a weird picture? (28:36)

Well, it’s the picture we get throughout the Bible of the king who even before he engages in the second advent and the coming arrival of the battle of Armageddon when he rides in, he rides in the second time on a white horse and it says very clearly in that text, that he has his robe dipped in blood, while those behind him who are his saints, his people, are all dressed in fine white linen clothing. So the leader of the group stained in blood, this picture of death that just takes place six days after his Palm Sunday offering of salvation. Now he’s strung up on a Roman execution rack purchasing people their peace with God. It’s an amazing scene all tied together from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible as a humble king, and you say, well, that’s great, he secured peace with God but the world is still as mess. No, it is, you’re right have you noticed that? Have you listened to the news here lately? It’s a mess, going on this way for 2000 years since he rode through those gates. Well there’s another arrival of Christ through the gates of Jerusalem and we read about it there, I just quoted just 1 reference to it when he comes back to Jerusalem, Revelation chapter 19. We don’t have to wait till that, actually in Zecariah chapter 14, five chapters later, we have the arrival of Christ into Jerusalem. But this time it’s not riding on a donkey and it’s not there to bring a humble offering of peace with God, now it is accomplishing everything we read in verse 10. It’s the cutting off, a very strong Hebrew word, it’s the severing and putting down the hammer on the fact that no longer will we have chariots in Ephraim. I’ll cut off the war horse from Jerusalem and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace, not that people have peace with God but this time we have peace to the nations. And he shall rule from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth. You have a statement there which in the first line and in terms of sea to sea you might start thinking of the regional parameters of the ancient world there in Jerusalem and around in Israel but you get to this superlative statement in the end of verse 10 to the ends of the earth from the Euphraties which is usually the reference to “the River” to let’s just call it the whole world. So now you have something different. Now often these depictions of Christ coming to Jerusalem to do something significant they seem to be packed together and so they are, verses 9 and 10 but you’ve got to separate these two that Christ is going to come twice. Like two Macy’s in the mall, if you will, and you got to know what’s happening is we live between these advents, between the introduction of Jesus Christ with finger nails and toe nails and eye color and hair walking into Jerusalem, he’s walked in it once as the king, he’s going to walk in it a second time as the king and it will be the next triumphal entry and that triumphal entry is not there to secure your peace with God, it’s there to bring in world peace, that’s the promise of verse 10. Jot it down if you would, the triumphal entry of the future you should be anticipating the permanent world peace. (32:05)

2. The Triumphal Entry of the Future – Anticipate Permanent World Peace

That’s the promise and I can’t get around the fact that even when we read of those promises regarding Christ’s birth you hear those verses at Christmas time you hear the songs you listen to Handel’s Messiah and you have all these statement about this sweeping rule of Christ and then you say, “Well, what happened?” The government is going to rest on his shoulders, really? This child is going to be born to us and the government is going to rest? And the increase of his government there will be no end? This sounds pretty political no wonder they were waving their palm branches saying, “Save us now” as they looked over the top of that donkey over Jesus’ shoulder to the Romans lined up watching what was happening saying, “Save us from this.” We don’t want to be under the thumb of the Romans. (32:47)

I could see why maybe they would rejoice 500 years before Christ because just like in Christ’s day with the opposing thumb of the Romans these reassembled Jews in the land of Israel, after the Babylonian captivity, was under the thumb and the watchful eye of the Persians, they couldn’t even cash a check with out the Persians signing off on it. So they do need a king that’s going to bring peace to the nations and is going to rule and be in charge, our Jewish Messiah. Well, he’s not just a Jewish Messiah; he’s the king for every daughter of Zion. Now let’s think this through, Ephraim I just read past that but you should understand and know if you don’t know, Ephraim was the most prominent tribe in the Northern part of Israel. Now we’re looking at 500 BC when Zechariah writes this, let’s go back 400 years before that we had this irreparable split between Ephraim or the Northern Tribes and Judah or the Southern Tribes. Judah and Ephraim those were the two prominent tribes in both so we called them that, that’s the nickname for the North and the South. You had ten tribes to the North, two tribes to the South, Ephraim and Judah and you had what seemed to be an irreparable split, 400 years before this was written. Two hundred years before this was written those Northern ten tribes fell to the Assyrians. And when the Assyrians took them they didn’t take them away like the Babylonians taking away the Southern tribes away where they kept their identity. They came, they occupied, they killed a lot of people and they intermarried with who ever was left and so they had to set up their own capital because the Southern Jews looked at those interbred Assyrian, half Assyrian, half Israelites and they called them Samaritans and they hated them because they sold out their ethnicity and they couldn’t stand them. So you had an irreparable split 400 years before this was written, you had what seemed to be an irreversible assimilation of the people of the North who’d lost their identity and they even called them to this day they talk about the ten lost tribes of Israel, well that’s who we’re talking about, Ephraim, this group that represents all of these people. And so you think we’ve written that off. Two hundred years ago, think about what was going on 200 years ago. I mean our country is only 240 years old, I mean this was like there’s no hope of that coming back, and yet both here we see it in Ezekiel and Jeremiah and we see it here in Zechariah it’s like they’re back again. Two hundred years ago they’re gone, they’re forgotten. No they’re not forgotten, they’re not forgotten by God and God will one day reassemble them just like the prophet said he’s going to take two representations of the North and South and join them back together and when he comes in the North and in the South no warfare, no chariots, no battle horses, no battle bows. Both the north and the south reunited. (35:42)

And there will be no warfare as it says in Isaiah chapter 2 he’ll judge between the nations, he’ll decide disputes between many peoples, they’ll beat their swords into plowshares, we don’t need these weapons of warfare anymore we’re going to make them into farming implements. They’re going to take their spears they use to use to defend their cities and they’re going to turn them into pruning hooks and go fishing with them. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Now if that’s the promise of the king who comes in triumph to Jerusalem I’m thinking it’s not going very well, right? Is there any war in this world? What about this place in the north of Israel and in the south of Israel around Jerusalem, no warfare. Have you been to Jerusalem? I mean you’ve got to go to some pretty rough places in America to find as much military hardware or even people carrying around weapons over their shoulder than you see in Israel every single day. They have a 15.6 billion dollar defense budget. They have hundreds of tanks, they have multiple rocket launch systems, they have 700 aircraft in their air force, they’ve got 65 state of the art naval warships. So where’s the promise of verse 10 in Zechariah chapter 9, this is what makes that separation and cleaves the two triumphal entries. We can take the time to look at all the times the Bible references the coming of Christ to Jerusalem and you’re going to find there’s some he’s coming humbly to offer something, some kind of salvation that people don’t initially seem to want but then he’s going to come back and he’s going to offer this thing that everyone wants. I mean everyone wants world peace, well only those who respond to peace with God end up being ushered into a kingdom where there’s peace in this world and either excludes you the impenitent or he embraces you and he says enter into the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. And by the way there’s no doubt in our minds why verse 9 comes before verse 10 and it shouldn’t have been even to the Zechariah crowd of 500 BC. To put this in context 20 years before, actually 30 years before, because it had been finished for at least ten years, you had 30 years before this was written you had the Persians allow Zerubbabel who was a governor, a Jewish governor and Joshua who was serving as the High Priest, this is not the Joshua of Moses day that was 1000 years previous, but you had another Joshua and you had Zerubbabel they came back and started to build the temple it was a twenty year project. Now I’m thinking before I start building a worship center I better get my defensive civil walls up around the city. Is that how God works? No, fifty year gap between the launching of the building project of the temple and the building of the walls. Now Ezra talks about the building of the temple, Nehemiah talks about the building of the walls. Twenty year project to rebuild the temple, seven and a half weeks to rebuild the walls. God puts a gap between the two and says, “I just want to make sure that you know what is clear priority here. The priority is you getting right with God through this picture of worship and sacrifice understanding your need and sin and let’s get back to all of that and we’ll deal with the political stuff in a generation.” The first coming is always going to be God’s ultimate priority is us getting right with the living God and then I know we all pine away for world peace and let’s make everything right, well he’s going to do that. But he’ll do that in installment number 2 when he walks through the gates of Jerusalem a second time. And we will say save us now those of us that are right with God and we will in one way or another welcome the King of Kings and Lord of Lord back with his blood stained robe and he will come into the city just to read this text that is so good. Revelation chapter 19 verse 11, heaven opens, white horse comes out, one sitting on it is called Faithful and True and in righteousness he come and he’s going to have to bring peace by waging war. He judges and makes war. His eyes like flames of fire and on his head many diadems, does this sound like the first triumphal entry? Completely different, this time he is not on a mule, he’s not on a horse, he’s not on a donkey, he’s not on some small young animal, he’s on a big white horse and he’s coming to wage war, he’s got lots of crowns on his head and he’s got a lot of names written that no one knows but himself, there’s a little mystery asterisk on that verse. And he’s clothed in a robe dipped in blood and then name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. Also this doesn’t look like the first triumphal entry and from his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He doesn’t need a real sword he just speaks the word and he will rule them with a rod of iron and he will tread the winepress of the wrath of the fury of the God Almighty. And on his robe and on his thigh is written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (40:43)

We call him king the first time to get your sins removed and to get right with God to have peace with God. The next time you better be on his team because he’s going to usher in world peace and solve our problems, we won’t have military budgets any more and no one is going to boot camp and there will not be any warfare because God is going to usher in what we all long for, the kingdom. It’s coming, it was the thing that was spoken of in Isaiah 9 when it says every boot for the trampling warrior, every garment that’s stained with blood it’s going to be rolled up and burned for fuel for the fire. Why? Because for unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given and the government will rest on his shoulders and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. Do you know the fourth pair? Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end and on the throne of his father David he’ll sit over the kingdom to establish it to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time and forever more the zeal of the Lord will accomplish this. And the question is when we sing that at Christmas time was that the first advent? Well, part of it, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, God-man riding through the gates to offer the most important priority of God, make peace with your God. But that last part the Prince of Peace, oh he gives us peace with God but the peace that he speaks of in the next verse the government resting on his shoulders and the increase of his government knowing no end, that’s what the hope of the Christian life is. You’re between these two triumphal entries. Anticipate that, it’s coming. (42:21)

Now I’d like to end where we started, Zechariah chapter 9, I want to start with the command, now you know you’re commanded to do this, not just the people in the fifth century BC who have Abrahams genetic code running through your veins, I’m talking about us today. If you’re from Philitia, whether if you’re from Cush or Tyre, a Phonecian city or an American city, you better do this, rejoice greatly. Now that’s a command. Shout aloud, why? Well, because these two things are going to happen. An offer of salvation from the Prince of Peace who brings peace with God and the Prince of Peace who one day will usher in the kingdom, you can get excited about that. Why? Because one purchases your relationship with God and one promises you a future with God. You know whose you are and you know where you’re going. (43:13)

Now I hate to stretch this metaphor too far, but you guys like poetic language, here it comes. There is a triumphal entry that should take place in your heart and it’s not a suggestion and it’s not an offer to you if you’re to, you know, tired of being a curmudgeon. This is something that you’re called to do as a Christian right now in this world no matter how bad our country gets, no matter how war-torn our world gets, you have to recognize the call in our lives to have peace reigning within us. Let’s call it this, number 3, you should experience an unexpected and inexplicable, a kind of peace that surpasses all understanding that resides in us. Number 3, experience unexpected inner peace. (43:54)

3. The Triumphal Entry of Today – Experience Unexpected Inner Peace

Peace with God, world peace is coming; you are here right between those two. Now between these two in this world we’re going to have a lot of tribulation but you know one thing that should characterize Christians, peace. My peace I leave with you, not like the world gives, a different kind of peace, it’s a peace I give you that he says even there in that great passage about tribulation in this world. He says, “In this world you’ll have tribulation but take heart, I’ve overcome the world.” Now I got a big gap, it’s a lot longer than we want, 2000 years, but 2 Peter chapter 3 says the gap is there and it’s as big as it is because he wants people to come to repentance. He wants to build a kingdom of repentant people who will enter in to the kingdom and enjoy the peace that he’s going to establish. That’s our job but it’s going to be tough and it won’t be all we want but our task is to make sure that as we go about the business of living between the two triumphal entries of Christ, that there’s triumph in our own heart because what rules in our hearts is peace. That’s the call of God and I know it’s hard for us to rejoice in something future but God is in the business of doing that all the time he says about the new heaven and the new earth, and I’m not talking about the reference in Revelation, I’m talking about the time he tells the Israelites about the Old Testament in Isaiah 65 that he’s going to make a new heaven and a new earth. He says this, “and you guys should rejoice, present tense, rejoice in what I will create.” There’s a future coming and I want you now to have your disposition and your attitude improve by what’s coming. Yeah, it’s going to be hard, the kingdom is coming and all you have to do is put the word “magic” in front of it to watch your kids anticipate the kingdom the way that God expects us to anticipate the kingdom. (45:40)

You know what that’s like, right? I mean you’ve had that experience, if not you’ve seen it on TV I’m sure as people record their kids when they tell them they’re going to make this big overly expensive trip to the Magic Kingdom. And what do those kids do? Well, they rejoice greatly and they shout for joy, I’ve seen it. That’s what they do. Now think about kids when you tell them you’re going to spend a truckload of money on going to Florida and take them to Disney World, they rejoice but they do it based on two assumptions. One is when you announce the family trip to the Magic Kingdom, they assume this, I’m in the family and I’m not going to be out of the family before this trip starts, I’m going, right? This is my family. And the second thing that they assume is that no matter when the trip is, you’re word is good for it, right? Because they don’t ask well you know I’ll get excited when is it? Right? When I plan this thing out in my house, my kids were little, I said, “We’re going to Florida, spend way more money than we should, we’re going to Florida, going to the Magic Kingdom, going to Disney World.” They didn’t sit there and say, “Well I’ll get happy about it when I see it.” They shouted for joy, they danced around the living room, they rejoice greatly. They didn’t say, “Well, I will be happy about that but, I bet I still got to do my homework tonight, huh.” They didn’t say, “I would dance around like the kids on the commercial but you’re probably going to make me go to bed at the normal bedtime, I’m not happy about that.” No, they know this, I’m in the family and you’re good for it. And they don’t even know when, we could go in six years. I didn’t even tell you when I’m going to take you, you’re just happy. Now I don’t know when the kingdom is coming and Jesus said he wasn’t going to tell us, but he expects us to exist in a perpetual state of rejoicing and joy because we know whose we are, first triumphal entry, and he knows where we’re going, we’re a part of the second triumphal entry. You’re going to come into that kingdom with him and he expects you in the interim no matter how hard it get, what diseases you get, no matter how much economic problems you have to have a positive disposition because you know you belong to him and you know where you’re going to end up. (48:09)

You don’t have to read the Hebrew Old Testament to see this is a clear imperative, matter of fact you can read the English New Testament and see it in Philippians 4 and let me end with that. Turn with me to Philippians chapter 4. Philippians chapter 4. Here is Paul writing from prison of all places and the Philippians knew this church that he’s writing to, what it was like to have their leader in prison because he was at one time with Silas in stocks in the bottom of a Philippian jail. If you read that story in the book of Acts you know that even in that terrible situation at around midnight after being whipped and beaten and flogged they’re in stocks together and around midnight they were, do you know? Complaining, no, grumbling, no, arguing with each other, no. At around midnight the Bible says Paul and Silas in a Philippian jail after being beaten and whipped in stocks they were singing hymns to God. Paul now writes a letter from prison in Rome and he’s writing this letter to the Philippians saying you know what? There’s one thing you got to make sure you do, and that is that you rejoice. Look at verse 4, rejoice not in Ceaser, rejoice not in your paycheck, rejoice not in your health, rejoice in the Lord and do it – look at the next word – when you feel like it, no. When things are going particularly well, no, on Sundays, no. Rejoice in the Lord – what does it say – always. Well I’m glad he only said it once. Oh, no wait, and again I say Rejoice. Now think about this, this is exactly like Zechariah chapter 9. Rejoice in the Lord now we know this by the time Paul writes this there’s a past installment of his work, he purchases our peace with God and he’s promised to return, he said that to the disciples on that mount on the Mount of Olives, he leaves in view of the gates of Jerusalem. He leaves and the angles say just as you saw him go you’ll see him come back. Which is the same picture Zechariah 14 paints for us, his feet are going to touch the Mount of Olives, there’s the picture, there’s the symmetry Old Testament New, and he’s going to walk through those gates one more time. (50:31)

So in that Messianic work the Lord, rejoice in him, and rejoice in that all the time. We can look at that past, we can look at that future and right now rejoice again I’ll say it, rejoice. Let you reasonableness your forbearance, your – here’s a good definition of that word – your patient restraint. I know that you want to break down and complain and be frustrated and get all uptight. Listen, let that patient restraint be known to everyone, let them see your character that you’re not swayed by bad times; you can sing hymns in a dungeon of a jail at midnight. That you can have an optimistic, biblically optimistic, attitude about your present trial where people are going to scratch their heads, I don’t know how they deal with that, that way. The Lord is at hand, that’s great. What does that mean? It’s like James says, the judge is standing at the door. When is the kingdom coming? Don’t know, but he’s right there. He can fling that door open anytime, all it takes is a word, 2 Peter 3 says, the Lord is at hand. So, verse 6, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. What a great verse. In everything by prayer and supplication, there are going to be things that you’re going to need to cry out for between two triumphal entries. Yes, there’s lots of problems in the middle of it and you should pray, you should pray about everything, but remember thanksgiving. Well, what can I be thankful for when I’m in prison in the middle of the night? Well, you got the first advent, you’ve got the second advent both of these are great news for us. You know whose you are; you know where you’re going. So even let your request, God I’d like to get out of jail my back is in a lot of pain, please give me relief tonight so I can sleep, those are requests you should bring to God but temper all that with thanksgiving and what happens if I have this prayerful perspective on reality? Well the peace of God, there it is, which surpasses all understanding, the inexplicable, unreasonable, unexpected inner peace will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. God’s going to lock your brain up with that sense of okay you can handle this, you can deal with this, you can get through this. And people are going to scratch their heads because it doesn’t add up. (52:50)

Now there is a responsibility here which I hope will lead you back to this sermon many times in the future, verse 8, finally brothers, you’ve got to fix your mind on something and he lists these things. Whatever is true, well you know God’s batting a thousand on his prophetic batting average. He called every detail and orchestrated everything perfectly even down to what they were reading on the temple mount the day he came through those gates. I know he’s going to bring in the second one exactly as he said. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, we’re going to march through that kingdom, that he says is prepared for us from the beginning and he’s going to establish that community that’s going to have a city that’s going to come down out of heaven ultimately like a bride adorned for her husband. I’m going to be a part of that. Whatever is just, another word for righteous, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, whatever is excellent, whatever is worthy of praise, anything is worthy of praise, think about these things. It’s a mental battle, I understand that, it’s a battle of discipline to pray, it’s a battle of discipline to think and keep my mind set on those things, and if you do, the Bible says, God will give you this peace but you’ve got to have that perspective of what he’s accomplished and what he will do. Whose you are and where you’re going, what the first triumphal entry came to establish in our lives and what the second triumphal entry will be. (54:10)

This reminds me so much of Jesus in the boat on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the storm. He’s asleep in the hull of the boat, the disciples are freaking out and you remember Jesus wakes up and he proclaims a rebuke and the rebuke you remember is the one he rebukes the sea and the wind and the waves and they stop but that’s not the rebuke we should take as the lesson from that text. He rebukes his disciples after that. He says, “Oh you of little faith.” What’s your problem, you’re freaking out over a storm. I mean certainly not how it’s designed to end for the Messiah at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee. But even if you didn’t know that, don’t you know whose are and where you’re ultimately going even if this is the last day for all of us, if our lives are over today, if the worst of what the world fears happens to us before the week is over, we know whose we are and where we’re going. That should make us live a kind of courageous, bold, peace, inner peace governed joyful life that’s different than everyone else. (55:18)

Christ entered the gates 2000 years ago of Jerusalem as a righteous humble king offering us peace with God. I hope you’ve secured that and if you have well then you’re a card carrying citizen of the kingdom that he will one day inaugurate when he walks trough the gates of Jerusalem the second time. The challenge for us is to make sure that we, here it comes now, walk through the gates right now of this life that is described by Isaiah 26 when Isaiah spoke of the song that the people of God should sing. Here it comes, Isaiah chapter 26, they should sing this. We have a strong city, he, God, has set up salvation like walls and like bulwarks, so open the gates, Isaiah says, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. Here’s a verse you know, you, speaking of God, keep him, that person, in perfect peace. What do those people do? Whose minds are stayed on you. Why? Because he trusts in you. Then the song turns to everybody else. Trust in the Lord, trust in him forever for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. If he says the family is going to the kingdom, if you’re in the family you’re going. I don’t care if there’s bedtimes, trips to the dentist or medicine to take you better have a good attitude because what is going on in God’s plan for our lives is going to dictate how I manage the bumps and trials and storms of my present life. We have a strong city, he set up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD, Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. Those are the gates I’d like you to walk into, today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, walk through them every day of your Christian life and you will have a distinctive sense of peace that surpasses all understanding. And if you know you’re saved there’s no better place to live, not only should live according to Zechariah 9 and Philippians 4 that’s where you ought to live. Rejoice in the Lord, rejoice in the Lord always, I’ll say it again Rejoice. Let’s pray. (57:40)

God, help us to take serious your word. That the faith we proclaim from this platform that Christians have been proclaim throughout the centuries is not a crossing our fingers and trying to believe in a fable that we know is not true that we root our confidence about the future in the historic truth of the past. That what you promised even down to what kind of animal Jesus would ride into the city on and what verses would be read as he comes in to the city, these are all orchestrated by you in every last detail. As both Matthew and John wanted to be careful to point out comes true in Christ. And so we count on the future as a God that knows exactly how to keep his promises and we trust in your promise that one day the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and that he will reign forever and ever. God if there’s people in this room that have not made peace with you because they hold and clasp their sin and they’re not willing to repent and put their trust in your Son may they do that even now as I pray, that you’ll lead them to repentance so that they might be a part of the kingdom and have a citizenship that’s in heaven and hear from you on that day; enter the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Make that the reality for everyone in the room God, expand your kingdom even this morning. In Jesus Name, Amen. (59:05)

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