The Proclamation of a King

By: Rev. Emily Armstrong

Lent culminates with Holy Week when we contemplate the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In the coming days, we will focus on the main events that happened in the life of Jesus.

Jesus has spent some years ministering on earth. The Bible records his miracles and his relationships with both disciples and sinners. Many had heard his teaching of the Kingdom of God but had never heard Jesus proclaim himself as the Messiah.

  • According to Mark 8:29, who proclaims Jesus as the Christ? ______________________
  • What is Jesus’ response in Mark 8:30? _________________________________
  • Why do you think Jesus commanded others to keep his identity a secret? _______________________________________________________________

Read the following Biblical passages:

  • Mark 8:31
  • Mark 9:31
  • Mark 10:33-34

Based on what you read, what is the message that Jesus is declaring to his disciples?

_____________________________________________________________

Remember the Suffering Servant passage from Isaiah 53? The disciples need to remember this prophecy as well, because even they are not contemplating that Jesus is going to die. Everyone expected a Messiah who was going to save the people of Israel through a show of military force.

When we study the Bible, a tried-and-true technique is to pay attention to the stories that are repeated several times. If they are in the Bible more than once, there must be an important reason.

Read the following passages:

  • Matthew 21:1-5
  • Mark 11:1-3
  • Luke 19:28-31
  • John 12:12-13

What is the story you just read that is found in all four gospels? __________________________

*Here’s a little reminder: The Vía Dolorosa is the way to the cross, in Jerusalem. With a resolute purpose, Jesus is on his way there.

According to Mark 11:1, where was Jesus? ________________________________________

According to Mark 11:11, where did Jesus’ journey end? ___________________________

We are highlighting the geography because the time has come. Jesus’ act of entering Jerusalem is a proclamation that he is King. With this act, the clock begins to tick and soon we will be seeing the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

The crowds are excited, because the Jews have heard the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. Transcribe that verse here: ________________________________________________________________

Let’s compare Jesus as King with a secular King. Fill in the blanks that correspond to Jesus.

Secular King                                                                                       Jesus

1.  He entered the city on a horse.                                                    1. ______________________

2.  He entered the city with servants proclaiming his majesty.    2. ______________________

3.  He entered the city with trumpets.                                              3. ______________________

Finally, it is important that we see that “The Triumphal Entry” was not so triumphant. Compared to a secular King, Jesus seemed absurdly humble. And this has always been the attitude of Christ – humility. Even in his MOST celebrated moment and with much majesty, we still see The Suffering Servant.

We are now IN Jerusalem. Jesus has let the people proclaim him King. The next day, Jesus cleanses the temple (Mark 11:12-17) which is ANOTHER act of proclaiming himself as the Messiah. Given this, what is the reaction of the chief priests and teachers of the law in Mark 11:18? _________________________________________________________________

WE HAVE ARRIVED. We celebrate Palm Sunday on the Sunday before Easter, and it is a bittersweet day. We declare: “HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST, He is our King,” even as we know in our hearts that the cross is coming soon.

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