The Final Week
- To fully experience the depth of this drama we have to watch this final week like it’s a movie. If you didn’t know the end you would see a collision coming. The disciples view of Jesus and the Jewish leaders view of Jesus couldn’t be more opposite. Something has to give! No matter the era, readers of Mark’s gospel are being asked to choose sides
- Mark 11:1-3
One phrase just continued to jump out at me when I was reading this: “The Lord needs it.”
He needs it?
- Jesus needs it? How is it that the Lord who needs nothing needs it?
- In Psalm 50, the Lord says this: “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. ….”
- The Creator has humbled himself to a point of total poverty
- Phil 2:5-7 Christ Jesus, Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant
- Lit: He emptied himself
- Phil 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
- He acted voluntarily
- Position of ‘himself’ and aorist active verb strongly suggest this
- He has need of nothing. He is the Lord. HE CREATED ALL THINGS. All things live and breathe and have there being because of his power and majesty. And yet he needs it. He is the grand marshal of the parade and he doesn’t even own a car that they can use for him to ride in. Jesus has so humbled himself as the Lord, he so emptied himself out, that he doesn’t own the donkey he needs—he actually is in need.
- This isn’t undercover Boss slumming it for a couple days. This is humility on a level that we cannot even comprehend. It’s Shocking. Scandalous. Breathtaking.
He needs it, but he will give it back
- People back then were very used to commandeering. Roman troops are enemy occupying forces and just like enemy occupying forces always do, they’re in charge and they commandeer. So they might commandeer your time and your labor.
- They might see you and they say, “Hey, I’ve got a battle pack. It’s heavy. I don’t want to carry it. It’s 75 pounds. Guess what you’re doing right now; you’re carrying that for a mile.” And you go, “Yeah, then I’ve got to walk a mile with that heavy pack and then walk a mile back.” And he says, “Yep, I’m gonna make you because because I can.”
- Kings were used to doing that. Back in the Old Testament, there is a story of King Ahab. He sees this vineyard that he thinks is really amazing. He wants to buy the real estate; the owner won’t sell. So his wife has the owner murdered and he gets the vineyard. When you’re in power, you take what you want
- But Jesus is this new kind of King. He says, “The Lord needs it and will send it back” here shortly. “I have the right to commandeer…but I return things.”
- o We just saw that in last week’s text: Anyone who gives up anything to follow Jesus will receive blessing in return.
- Mark 11:4-6
- It was springtime, and the man was richer because his donkey had given birth to a foal. The colt represented potential, it had survived the newborn mortality rate, and although it had not yet been ridden, the colt had reached the age of real value.
- Can you imagine what must have gone through the owner’s mind? What Jesus asked for was valuable. No explanation was given—only that Lord needed them. But his response was immediate. He sent the donkeys to Jesus—and as a result he became a player in the drama of God’s incredible story.
He needs it because we need it
- Mark 11:7-10
- God’s people have been praying about earnestly for almost a hundred years. They have been under the boot of Rome. They have no king because the enemy Roman army who is occupying their country will not let them have a king. A king of Israel would have too much power, so the Romans abolished that position and they put in place a Roman governor.
- The Jews are a puppet state, and they hate that. So they have been begging God, "God, your ancient prophet said a new king would come and free his people." It says, for example, in Zechariah 14:4 that the deliverer would stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem and that’s where he would appear from.
- in Zechariah 9:9
- So when Jesus starts this two-mile inauguration day parade down into the heart of Jerusalem, he comes riding down from where? The Mount of Olives. He comes riding on the back of a donkey, exactly the same animal that Solomon rode when Solomon became king.
- Nobody misses that this is the moment. Nobody is unclear about the message. Everyone knows that God has finally sent this new king, which sends people to actually take off their jackets, lay them on the road so that the hooves of the donkey carrying the new king don’t even have to touch the dirt. That’s how excited they are about it
- They know they need delivered. And they know Jesus can deliver them.
- Hosanna = Save NOW!
- Passover Holiday increased the fervor for the Messiah every year. It was a celebration of independence yet currently they weren’t free. Imagine what July 4th would be like if we were living under another country’s rule.
- After running from the Messianic madness for most of his ministry Jesus now publicly embraces the title.
- What they don’t know is what they need saved from and how Jesus is going to deliver them
- Dark hearts- Cleansing the Temple – Intimacy with God turned into a commoditized business
- Teaching on Prayer – Emphasis on Forgiveness – Rome the oppressor
- Jesus immediately has his authority on the issues questioned
- Mark 11:18
- Mark 11 is all about AUTHORITY. Jesus is announcing himself as King. But he will establish himself as King in a way that no one saw coming.
- The CROSS
- Don’t Skip from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Christianity is not one celebration to the next. There is a cross in the in between celebrations. The cross is central to all theology
- Col 2:13-15
- Triumph Parade in Rome: If you kill 5,000 or more.
- Within weeks Acts records 5,000 believers. Jesus TRIUMPHED.