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“The Triumphal Entries” (Palm Sunday)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“The Triumphal Entries”

Palm Sunday Sermon [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

April 14, 2019

Introductory Comments:

Happy, Palm Sunday, everyone!

I dare say that many of us know that Palm Sunday falls the Sunday before Easter Sunday, but that’s about all we know about Palm Sunday. 

We don’t celebrate Palm Sunday because we’re in Florida, and palm trees surround us. There is actually a biblical reason that we call this Palm Sunday. 

You see, as Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, as He was preparing for His crucifixion and resurrection, the people were welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem as a king. They waved palm branches in a celebratory fashion to welcome Him. That’s why we call it Palm Sunday. 

In fact, the welcoming of Jesus came with so much fanfare that we often call it the Triumphal Entry

However, did you know that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before His crucifixion and resurrection is not the only triumphal entry of Jesus in the Bible?

Well, today we’re going to look at the Triumphal Entries of Jesus as recorded in Scripture. 

Before we do that, let’s pray and ask God to speak to us. 


The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is one of the biblical events that is recorded in every gospel account.

For today, I’d like for us to look at John’s account of this event.

Let’s look at John 12:12-16.

12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord —the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

This is the first triumphal entry of Jesus. This is why we celebrate Palm Sunday. 

So let’s look at some aspects of this first triumphal entry and see what God is teaching us. 

I. The First Triumphal Entry [on screen]

It’s important to understand the people this passage expected Jesus to be a mighty warrior king who would help them regain their political and geographical status as the rulers of Israel.

The people were tired of being under the thumb of the Romans.

The people knew that Messiah was coming. They were thinking that Jesus might very well be this Messiah. They saw that He taught with authority, they saw that He healed, they saw that He worked miracles. 

They even shouted, “Hosanna,” which means Savior! They thought Jesus was sent by God to be their Savior King. They shouted, “Blessed is he who coming in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel.”

They’re pumped that Jesus will be their Messiah King!

However, Jesus was not the kind of king that they expected. We see that many of the aspects of Jesus’ entry were not descriptive of how you might except a conquering king to come into town. 

Let’s look at those. 

First, . . . 

  1. Jesus came first riding on a young donkey. [on screen]

The first time Jesus came into town, He came into town riding on a donkey. Not just a donkey, but a young donkey!

We might except that Jesus would have come into town instead on a Clydesdale horse, or a lion, or something regal.

It’s worth noting that this was not unusual for a king to ride on a donkey, in fact, King David rode a donkey at times.

However, a king would probably not go into battle, and certainly wouldn’t seek to demonstrate strength, by riding in town on a young donkey. 

Jesus came as a humble Savior, not an intimidating conqueror. 

Interestingly, this very moment was prophesied. John points to the words of Zechariah the prophet who foretold this moment long ago. 

He said of the city of Jerusalem, also called Zion, that her king would come on a young donkey. 

Here comes Jesus at His first triumphal entry on a young donkey. 

Second, . . .

  1. Jesus came first as suffering servant. [on screen]

The people excepted that Jesus would wipe out all the bad guys. They excepted that Jesus would be the ultimate warrior king and no one would be able to stand in His way. 

Instead, Jesus came as a suffering servant. 

As Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, he did not open his mouth.” [on screen]

He willingly laid down His life and never once resisted. 

Even when Peter, one of His apostles, tried to take up a sword to defend Jesus when He was being arrested, Jesus rebuked him and told him that His death must happen. 

Jesus would suffer greatly; He would suffer as a servant who would be obedient to God the Father, even to the point of death. 

That takes us to the third aspect . . .

  1. Jesus came first to absorb judgment. [on screen]

Again, the Jewish people of Jesus’ day thought that Jesus was coming to deal judgment to the bad guys. However, Jesus absorbed judgment instead. 

Isaiah also prophesied in Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.” [on screen]

Jesus actually took on our judgment so that we wouldn’t have to. You see, someone has to absorb the judgment of God’s wrath towards sin. 

God loves us, so He wanted to deliver us from the judgment, so He sent Jesus to absorb it. 

As John reminds us in John 3:16-17, “16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” [on screen]

God owed us nothing. Yet, in His love, He sent His divine, sinless, royal Son to absorb the judgment for our sin. 

That leads us to our fourth aspect of Jesus’ first triumphal entry:

  1. Jesus came first to bring salvation. [on screen]

Jesus said Himself in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” [on screen]

Jesus came into the world to save sinners from their sin and the consequences of their sin. 

Jesus would bring salvation through His crucifixion, His burial, and His resurrection. 

That salvation that Jesus would bring would give us new life and seal our adoption as God’s children into His family forever.


Jesus’ first coming was miraculous and changed the history of the world forevermore. 

Jesus’ first coming changed many of our lives. 

Now, let’s look at . . .

II. The Second Triumphal Entry [on screen]

Did you know that Jesus will enter triumphantly into the world once again?

Let’s study quickly the second triumphal entry of Jesus. 

Look at Revelation 19:11-16.

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and he judges and makes war with justice. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

You see, Jesus will come again, and it will be triumphal once again!

However, this coming will be a bit different than the first. This second triumphal entry will be more in line with the kind of king that the people were looking for the first time. 

Let’s see four aspects of Jesus’ second entry:

First, . . .

  1. Jesus will return on a white horse. [on screen]

Verse 11 tells us that Jesus will be riding on a white horse. 

While He came first humbly on a young donkey, He will come second regally riding on a white horse. 

The white horse signifies strength, power, military force, and victory. 

Jesus is not playing around when He comes on a white horse. He means business. This takes us to the second aspect. 

  1. Jesus will return as conquering king. [on screen]

Whereas Jesus first came as a suffering servant, He will enter triumphantly the second time as a conquering king. 

This is the type of king that the people of Jerusalem were looking towards. He will indeed come, just not when they expected. 

Jesus will bring destruction on His enemies when He comes the second time. 

Listen to how the apostle John, the author of Revelation, describes Him. 

“His eyes were like a fiery flame”

“Many crowns were on his head”

“He wore a robe dipped in blood” That wasn’t his blood, by the way. 

“The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses”

“A sharp sword came from his mouth”

“He will rule . . . with an iron rod”

“He has a name written on his robe on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

They mockingly placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head at His crucifixion. When Jesus comes He will be wearing many crowns, which demonstrate His true royalty!

There will be no doubt that Jesus is king and that He is mighty when He returns. 

Part of being the conquering king is that He will deal judgment. That’s the next aspect. 

  1. Jesus will return to deal judgment. [on screen]

With that sword and that iron rod, Jesus will bring authority, rule, and destruction. 

He will, indeed, deal judgment to the enemies of God. 

Verse 15 says, “He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty.”

Just as a winepress squeezes grape juice out of grapes for the preparation of wine, so also, the wrath that King Jesus will bring will spill the blood of God’s enemies in preparation of the judgment of God. 

God will judge sin, that is a promise. The first time Jesus came, God prepared His own Son to absorb the judgment. The second time Jesus comes God will prepare His Son to deal the judgment. 

Finally, . . .

  1. Jesus will return to bring salvation. [on screen]

This is the same as the fourth aspect in Jesus’ first triumphal entry. 

You see, the first time Jesus came He secured salvation for us by giving His life on the cross. His work made it possible for us to receive the promise of salvation.

Yet, we are not yet fully rescued from sin and its effects. We still suffer. We still sin. We are still sinned against.  

The second time Jesus enters triumphantly He will come to deliver that salvation in its entirety. His work at the second triumphal entry will make it possible for us experience that salvation in full. 

Listen to the words of John in Revelation 21:3-4

3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away. [on screen]

God will bring final restoration, final healing, and final salvation to all His people, forever!

This is the promise to which all of us have been looking since we gave our lives to Jesus!

Concluding Thoughts:

We celebrate and remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem because He would later give His life on the cross as the atonement for our sins. 

We should also celebrate and look forward to Jesus’ return as the mighty king who will rescue us from this world and take us into paradise with Him forever. 

That takes us to our bottom line for the week. 

Bottom Line: Receive Jesus, the TriumphantKing[on screen]


Have you received the Triumphant King?

Has He changed your life?

As you reflect upon Palm Sunday, don’t reflect on the palms, reflect on the King. 

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Ask yourself, “Have I been changed by the SufferingServant?”  [on screen]

Did the coming of the Suffering Servant make any difference in your life?

If you’ve given your life to Jesus, can anyone tell?

Perhaps you’ve never asked Jesus to change you by His great work. He came and gave His life on the cross so that you might be saved. 

Second, . . .

  1. Ask yourself, “Am I prepared for the return of the ConqueringKing?”  [on screen]

He’s coming back. We don’t know exactly when He’s coming back, but we know that He is. Are you ready for Him to return?

When He returns, He will return in a new way for a new purpose. You’ll want to be ready for His return. 

Finally, . . .

  1. Take people to KingJesus[on screen]

People need to know of the grace offered through the sacrificial work of Jesus. 

People need to know that Jesus is returning once again. 

Take people to Jesus. Show them His love and tell them of His grace.

When’s the last time you’ve taken someone to Jesus?


Jesus Himself tells us in Revelation 22, “Look, I am coming soon!” John says these words at the end of the Revelation, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Can you say that now? Are you ready to say to the King, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

Those same people that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem by shouting, “Hosanna,” would later reject Jesus and shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus would give His life so that we might be saved from the judgment of our sins. 

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – Just As I Am


If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Join us tonight at 5:30 PM for our study in church history. Last time we covered the time starting after Jesus’ resurrection and concluded with the apostles spreading the Gospel throughout parts of Asia and Europe. Today, we’ll learn about the next era in church history. 

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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