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Jesus: King, Prophet, & Priest

March 24, 2024 Preacher: Kevin Godin Series: Various Messages

Scripture: Matthew 21:1–11

Sermon Transcript:

 Review: The Gospel of Matthew is written by the tax collector Matthew. He becomes one of Jesus’ 12 disciples in the narrative and this book follows his eyewitness account of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth. Jesus, before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem in chapter 21, began foretelling His upcoming death at the hands of the Jewish leaders. Others began to recognize His divine nature leading up to that point. For around 400 years, the Jews were seeking and looking for the birth of the Messiah. They believed that God would send the Messiah which is prophesied throughout the Old Testament. He would come and set up His Kingdom here on earth and Israel would be saved from the Roman Empire. They were waiting for the final deliverer to deliver His people. Even James and John were hoping that Jesus would allow them to sit at both His right hand and left when the Kingdom on earth was established. Jesus, however, wasn’t setting up an earthly kingdom, but establishing the Kingdom of Heaven. What we see in Jesus entering Jerusalem is Jesus’ threefold office as King, Prophet, and Priest. 

 

Main Point:  Jesus’ triumphal entry signifies His threefold office as King, Prophet, and Priest. 

 

Transition: Matthew begins with Jesus and His disciples traveling toward Jerusalem.

 

 

  • Jesus prepares His entry. (v.1-6)

 

 

Explanation: At this point, they are at the Mount of Olives. The area that overlooks all of Jerusalem and would have provided a clear view of the Temple. As they are sitting there, Jesus provides specific instructions for two of His disciples. 

Matthew 21:1-3, “Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus 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. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”

 

First, we see that Jesus is making a couple of profound proclamations. Jesus speaks of His authority as God in the flesh. If anyone were to ask them of this request, all that they would need to say is that the Lord needs them. What is it that He needs? They are instructed by Jesus to find a donkey and a colt with her. Jesus knew that at a specific place at a specific time, there would be a donkey and a colt with her.

  • Why a donkey and colt? Domesticated donkeys were often used for riding, tilling, and for carrying burdens, such as personal belongings or food for trips. Jesus here was not seeking to till the ground or carry His belongings into Jerusalem. He was looking for a ride. 
  • Not only did He ask for a donkey but told them that a colt would be with the donkey. The colt referencing the baby of the mother donkey. Often during travel, the unbroken colt of the mother would bring comfort and calmness for the donkey. What’s most important here is that Jesus told the disciples to bring them to Him. His intent wasn’t just to ride on the donkey for fun. He has been walking this whole time, so it’s not like He needed it to travel. His purpose for entering Jerusalem was pointed and would fulfill a prophetic Scripture found in Zechariah 9:9.

Matthew 21:4-6, “This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.”

  • The prophet is speaking of a coming King. One that would come to the rescue of all people, riding on a donkey. An everyday working, used and beaten up, in this case, domesticated donkey. Now for a king, this seems like an unusual entrance. 

 

Jesus wasn’t planning on a grand entrance, with fancy décor and ribbons, though it would stir up the entire city. He wasn’t riding on a white horse ready for war, though that will come at the end. He wasn’t planning to come as the King on earth to overthrow nations and set up His Kingdom. He wasn’t there to overthrow the religious leaders and judge the world. Jesus was sent here to planet earth to testify that He is the Son of God to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the King, the Prophet, and ultimately Priest to the world.

 

From the beginning, God’s promises point us to a larger story unfolding before our eyes. God created the world and everything in it and called it “very good”. He created man with his helper, the woman to rule and subdue it. Lucifer, an angel who resided in heaven had other plans. He saw God’s Throne and His creation and wanted it. He and a third of the angels rebelled and tried to overthrow God’s Throne but failed. They were cast out and Lucifer, now Satan, came in the form of a serpent and convinced God’s creation to rebel as well. God though, knew this would happen and said that a seed of the woman would ultimately crush the head of the serpent and would redeem mankind. Since that point, God used a nation, Israel and used men to write and prophecy of this coming seed, the lineage of people in which this Messiah would be born. This Messiah would ultimately fulfill the Law given to Moses and point to the repentance and forgiveness found in Him as a Prophet, the Kingship established through David as one who rules with authority and sovereignty over this world and offer Himself as atonement for the forgiveness of sins for all as a Priest. This is Jesus, the Christ.

 

Application: If you are here this morning, wondering the significance of all of this, know that God’s Word is trustworthy. The living Word gives us everything we need to know about who God is and what He has accomplished through His Son in the gospel. At Redeeming Grace Church, we value above everything else, the Word of God and who it points to: Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The savior of the world! I want to share with you a few of the other prophecies that point to Christ as this prophesied Messiah.

Isaiah 7:14, “14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

  • The virgin birth of Mary at Bethlehem points us to the trustworthiness of God’s Word.

Genesis 49:10, “10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

  • Through the line of Judah, God would carry the seed of the Messiah through to David, and ultimately to Christ.

Micah 5:2, “2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”

  • The prophecy of where Jesus would be born. This directly ties Jesus with David as a ruler who would protect Israel. His rule would extend to the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;”

  • This is the famous verse Jesus read aloud at the synagogue before the religious leaders. Jesus tells them,  “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Isaiah 49:6, “6 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations (Gentiles), that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

  • God not only intended on saving the Jews, but also to include the Gentiles. God knew the Jews would reject Christ, and God made it available to all in the plan for salvation.

Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

 

Transition: From the beginning, everything God’s Word promises comes true and this is why Jesus asks for the donkey. We can be confident in what God’s Word says about Jesus and His fulfillment as King, Prophet, and Priest.

 

 

  • Jesus is King, Prophet, and Priest. (v.7-11)

 

 

Explanation: After waiting for the disciples to return from getting the donkey and colt, Jesus sits on it and begins His travel toward Jerusalem. We see immediately the crowd’s submission to Jesus as King.

Matthew 21:7-9, “They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!””

 

They spread their cloaks on the road and others cut branches from the trees to spread on the road. They were celebrating and creating a path for Jesus to enter the city. The daughter of Zion, Jerusalem as a whole, seemed to recognize Christ as the Davidic Messiah. 

  • The cloaks on the road points us to the submission of Jesus as King. In 2 Kings after Elisha anoints Jehu as King over Israel, the men also react like the crowds did with Jesus. They cast down their cloaks as a path. A great celebration is had.

2 Kings 9:11-13, “11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” And he said to them, “You know the fellow and his talk.” 12 And they said, “That is not true; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’” 13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

  • Similarly, they now pronounce Jesus as King with the symbol of a road paved with cloaks. In doing so, they were making a proclamation, “Jesus is King.”
  • The palm branches symbolized victory for the Jewish people. This is important, because Jesus would be a symbol of victory for all people. 
  • His Kingship not only points us to His rule and authority, but it also points us to the victory He was going to have as the one true King. Jesus is the King and no other throne will overtake His. Much like our series in Judges, the Jews were looking for the next leader, the next ruler, their next King. The religious leaders weren’t cutting it. Many others came before Christ claiming to be the Messiah, but they died. Since David, they were awaiting the arrival of the promised King. The day had finally come.

 

Illustration: At Little Caesars Arena where the Red Wings play. The crowd can get intense and loud. There is great unity among the people. Everyone is cheering for the big goal, big save, big fight. Pretty common among all sporting venues during games. However, after a Red Wings win, there is always a singing of the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. The famous lyrics begins to be belted from the crowd after a victory,





“Just a small town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere”

Everyone knows when that song is being sung, the Wings have secured a victory. They have won the game, and usually the players skate out to center ice to enjoy the celebration. To enjoy the tune of people singing their victory song.

 

  • Similarly, right before Jesus enter Jerusalem, the crowds began to erupt! There were shouts of victory! They shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Which means “O, Save, Son of David.” Jesus was the blessed one. He was the chosen leader. He was the Messiah, and He arrived as the new King. They shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest.” O, save us God! O, save us Jesus! You who sit on the highest!

 

Application: Jesus is not only the King of the Jews, but King over all believers in Jesus Christ. He rules over us in such a way to not let sin overcome us. We have a victory in Jesus, and that victory rests in His authority to fight our spiritual battles and give us hope over our sin. He preserves those who are called Saints. Why? Because Christ took the punishment and anguish of the world’s sin on a cross. Different from David’s kingship, which brought hope and peace among the people for a limited amount of time, Jesus brings this hope and peace for eternity. And one day will return to rule with finality in this world. 

Luke 1:32-33, “32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

  • As Christians, we fight against sin and pursue holiness because we have a King who rules over us righteously. We have the King of kings and Lord of lords who goes to battle for us. He is by our side. We have a King who rules on the Throne and will one day judge and rule this world forever.

 

Explanation: Jesus not only rules as King, He also holds the office of Prophet. As Jesus finally enters Jerusalem, with the loud and raucous noise following Him, the whole town is stirred up. They begin questioning and wondering why all of the commotion?

Matthew 21:10-11, “10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

  • The town doesn’t really know how to respond. The religious leaders had to of been confused and confounded as to why such a commotion was happening. They begin to ask questions. “Who is this guy?” “Why all of the noise?” “Why all the cheering for him?” The crowds who understood what was happening responded, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

 

Jesus not only arrived into Jerusalem as the prophesied King, He has already made proclamations to His office as Prophet. A prophet being one who speaks to people on behalf of God. Jesus pronounced an end to all our sin and called the world to repent and believe in Him. He was not the only one. The Old Testament prophets also called Israel to repent of their sin and spoke of only God being able to pardon and forgive sins. Jesus gets this authority as a prophet because all of Scripture points to Him. He is the King after the line of David. Jesus is the Prophet in which everything written in the Holy Scriptures point to Him. In fact, He is the Word made flesh.

John 1:1;14, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

  • If Jesus is the Word. If Jesus is to be glorified and He is full of grace and truth, what did He prophesy about? He prophesied about Himself and our need to repent of our sins and trust in Him.

Mark 1:14-15, “14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

  • As I mentioned before, Jesus was not here to establish an earthly kingdom at that time. God did not send His Son to overthrow the world. He sent His Son to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. Our sin from the beginning was the barrier that separated us from a relationship and fellowship with God. When Adam fell into sin, we all inherited this sin nature. As Adam and Eve hid in the garden in shame, we too entered this world ashamed and naked. It was Jesus who was prophesied to come into this world and deliver us. It was Jesus, when His ministry began, that preached and proclaimed the gospel. That people would need to repent and believe the gospel. The gospel is the good news that points us to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. His triumphal entry points us to that reality. The love of God was so strong for His creation, He sent His Son to this world and crushed Him on our behalf. To redeem us back into a right relationship with Him. To erase the guilt and shame we have in sin. To give us power to repent of our sins and walk with Christ. It is only then can we become citizens of His earthly Kingdom when He returns. It is through Jesus the Prophet, who proclaimed and testified to Himself as the Messiah, and lived all of this out in His earthly ministry in being fully God and fully man.

 

Application: How is any of this possible for us? How do we respond to the wonderful news of the gospel. That Jesus is more than just our savior. He is our King. He is our Prophet. He is also our Priest. A priest represents people before God and makes sacrifices on their behalf. We know that next week is Easter and before that, Good Friday. The triumphal entry of Jesus marks the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. 

  • This means that Jesus would, in a few short days, experience one of the worst and excruciating deaths that any man has faced. He would willingly walk into this as our Great High Priest signifying Jesus as The Priest. 
  • At the time of Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem, the Jews were about to celebrate their Passover. This celebration was instituted for the Jews in the book of Exodus when the Israelites were under slavery to the Egyptians. One of God’s judgments against Egypt concluded with the Passover. That each family should take a lamb without blemish and kill it. They were to kill the lamb and smear the blood on the doorposts. The blood would be a sign for God to pass over that household and anyone who did not have the blood, God would kill the firstborn of that family. After Pharoah’s firstborn died, we know that this event caused Pharoah to finally concede to letting the Israelites go. They eventually pursued them again but perished in the Red Sea.
  • The theme of sacrifice continued for the Israelites in the Tabernacle and Temple, where the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies before the presence of God. Every year, this high priest would sacrifice an animal on behalf of the people’s sin. The sacrifice would cover the nation’s sin for another year.
  • All of what Jesus did, and why we celebrate next week, points to the final sacrifice of Christ. Jesus would ultimately be the final perfect spotless lamb to be sacrificed. His sacrifice wouldn’t cover sins for a year, but for eternity. Jesus walked willingly into the slaughter to die a death that He didn’t deserve and when He died, He offered His own blood in the Temple of heaven.

Hebrews 9:11-14, “11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

 

  • We no longer need the sacrificial system to appease God for our sin. Jesus accomplished this in the gospel.

Conclusion

 

Exhortation & Application: This is great news for Christians. We can now freely pray and trust in Jesus as our mediator to the Father. The work of the Spirit in those who are born-again have fellowship and a relationship with God. We can now serve God and others without our conscience seared. Our dead works come alive in Christ. Once we know who we are in Christ, the whole game changes. We are now seated in the heavenly places. Our sins forgiven as far as the East is to the West, and we can be confident of God’s love for us to serve Him and others. 

  • Through Jesus we have a King who rules righteously and graciously over our lives. He is a good King who was the perfect example of submission to the Father and servanthood to others. Who promises to judge on our behalf where there is injustice. He will return and there will be a multitude singing, “Hosanna in the highest!”
  • Through Jesus we have a Prophet who is the Word of God incarnate. He calls all to repent and believe in Him. Everything we find in Scripture, from God’s creation, to the establishment of a nation, to the giving of the Law, to the establishment of a king, to the birth of a virgin, the death, burial, and resurrection, and to the return of the King in Revelation, we have a Prophet who fulfilled all that was necessary to point us to Him being the Messiah, the Son of God. 
  • Finally, through Jesus, we have a Priest, who submitted to the Father in walking willingly into His sacrificial death offering Himself as the perfect spotless lamb, whose blood cleanses us from sin, and gives us forgiveness when we trust Him. Gone are the days where the blood of bulls and goats would forgive sins temporarily. Jesus offered His blood in the Temple not made with hands to forgive our sins for eternity. 

 

Invitation: This morning, if you don’t know Jesus, please during the Lord’s Supper, surrender your life to Jesus. Repent and believe the gospel. Put your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Let’s pray.




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