Our services have officially started! In addition, we are live streaming our sermons through YouTube (Christ Baptist Mokopane) and we’ll also continue to upload a pre-recorded audio version of the same message for those who can’t stream or make it to the services!

The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.

Click here: Mark 11:1-11, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: Mark 11:1-11, for the video feed, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.

 

Mark 11:1-11, Christ’s False Inauguration:

  • Let me start with a definition, an inauguration refers to the appointment of someone who is qualified in order to rule or reign. We don’t witness royal inaugurations much! There was a time when they were celebrated all over the world! Some came at a high cost, the result of many lives being taken. Others were celebrated through inheritance.
  • But in the case of our text, there was no inauguration. The headings of our Bibles may talk about the Triumphal entry, but there was nothing triumphal about it! There is no crowning, no honor, and no humility.

 

  • In fact, the true crowning of Jesus has two parts. The first already happened at His ascension. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that when Jesus was ascended, He took His seat at the right hand of God. Philippians 2 says that when He arrived, He not only took His seat at the right hand of God, but He was given a name above every name that has been named.
  • This means that He is currently reigning at the right hand of the throne of God. But His earthly reign is yet to be finalized. Revelation 19 and 20 describe that the Lord Jesus will return to earth, not riding on a donkey, but riding on a white horse, coming out of heaven, followed by the armies of heaven in white, unleashing the glorious holy powers of heaven on the earth.

 

  • Yet, what we’ll see in our text today involves none of this! And our approach isn’t anything like you might be used to. There is one point here, and we’ll get to it studying the following headings…

 

  1. The Approach:
  • Text – 11:1-7
  • Explanation – Jesus approaches with what we’ve seen in chapter 10:32, “Jesus… took the twelve aside, began to tell them what was going to happen” He said, “‘The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests, the scribes. They’ll condemn Him to death, hand Him over to the Gentiles. They’ll mock Him, spit on Him, scourge Him, and kill Him; and three days later, He will rise again.’
  • His approach does not have any crowning involved! He was not planning to take His kingdom. He was approaching only to be killed by the leaders of Israel themselves, and to die and rise again.

 

  • Why? Mark 10:45 tells us, “The Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Before He will ever reign, He came to die.
  • Now up to this point, Jesus had never allowed such an occasion to publicly acknowledge Him like this. He had never allowed an open, public demonstration declaring Him to be the Messiah.

 

  • Illustration – Here, Jesus initiated a deliberate display of His identity! Interestingly, in last week’s passage, we already saw that Jesus was no longer concealing His identity. When Bartimaeus cried out—twice—“Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus did not silence him. The secret was out. Here, Jesus himself boldly reveals it.

 

  • Application – And so before entering Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples with specific orders. As they entered, they would immediately find a young donkey tied to a rail. They were to bring it with them. If asked what they were doing they were to respond that “the Lord has need of it” and they would be allowed to carry on. This fulfilled the prophecy revealed in Zechariah 9:9–10 and Genesis 49:10–11.
  • An important detail is that the donkey was one “on which no one has ever sat.” The Old Testament often required an unused animal for sacred purposes. This speaks of offering to God that which is the best and unblemished. This would seem to be the situation here. Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, was coming to Jerusalem where he would die as a sinless sacrifice.
  • But why on donkey-back, why not walk? Well, it should be noted that, when entering Jerusalem for a feast, especially the feast of Passover, it was expected that people would walk into the city. For Jesus to come into the city on a donkey would arouse attention.

 

  • Conclusion – it displays importance! Perhaps even authority… whatever it may be, it definitely got people’s attention. This set a tone for the crowds & the disciples to be motivated, however – the religious leaders would not be too happy about it.
  • In fact, they weren’t prepared to execute Him on the Passover. They didn’t want to arrest Him and execute Him on the Passover because they were afraid of the people. Yet, they had no choice. They were afraid that His reputation would give Him power. And so they were driven to get rid of Him. This is exactly how the Lord God planned it

 

  • Bridge – therefore our Lord’s approach to the cross is similar to the newly appointed royalty. And for what purpose?

 

  1. The Vain Welcoming:
  • Text – 11:8-10
  • Explanation – even though the response of the crowd was one of celebration and anticipation, it meant nothing. It was vanity. However, I think the expectation of the crowd was fever pitch. For them, the Messiah arrived.
  • And so as Jesus came to the entrance of Jerusalem, the crowds paved the way with their cloaks and palm branches. Now this symbolizes the celebration of victorious king. And in addition, the crowd that went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!

 

  • Illustration – The word “hosanna” means to rescue, to deliver, or to save. Perhaps most literally, it means to save now. It is a cry that acknowledges one’s need for help. It can be a cry of desperation. But here it was a vain cry, and yet, the cries of these people displayed an expectation that victory was here and that deliverance had come!
  • Also, why would they spread their coats in the road? That was an old, ancient custom that showed submission. This was so because kings were always elevated and people were under their feet. And this was a way to symbolize that: “You can walk all over me; I am submissive to you.” We see it in the inauguration of Jehu in 2 Kings 9, “We place ourselves under your authority.” So it would be an affirmation of one’s rule.

 

  • But still, picture it. This following coming up the hill is massive by now; the crowd is swelling, the enthusiasm is growing. Luke says, “As soon as they reached the Mount of Olives the whole crowd and the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice.” What caused that? Luke says, “Because of all the miracles they had seen.”

 

  • Application – but this is a faithless approval. The very next day, when Jesus attacked their religion by attacking the temple, disappeared. When He didn’t do what they wanted, they began to turn on Him. And by the end of the week, they’re screaming, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We’ll not have this man reign over us.
  • So in a matter of days, they will change their minds, why? Because He didn’t do what they wanted Him to do. They wanted Him to attack the enemy, to overthrow the pagan government, and yet; He attacked them for their vain welcoming and disbelief.

 

  • Conclusion – this is a challenge to us as believers… do you only look to Jesus when things are good? When things are promising, when you feel good? Do you only read the Bible verses you like because they accommodate God’s promises? Do you only pray when you feel like you need to?
  • Friends, perhaps we are no better than the crowd. We cry, “hosanna!” but moments later, we have no regard for the Lord. They wanted Jesus to rule so that they can live in peace and have an endless fountain of blessing. I’m sure this is what many of us desire, however, Jesus promises suffering.

 

  • Bridge – and we’ll see this in our final point. Thus far we looked Jesus approach toward Jerusalem, to come and die, and rise, in order to give eternal life! And we’ve just seen the real identity of man’s heart before the Lord. However, our final point reveals Jesus’ plan & identity as He enters the temple.

 

  1. The True Revealing:
  • Text – 11:11
  • Explanation – The words “he looked around” are key in Mark. It suggests a looking everywhere and all round everything. It suggests a thoroughness in looking. Nothing was left unnoticed to the eyes of Jesus.
  • This was not a gaze of wonder. It is the kind of look that sees beyond the obvious. It is the kind of look that sees below the superficial surface. It is the kind of look that is personally interested in what it sees.

 

  • Illustration – Perhaps we can assume that when Jesus entered the temple area, he did so with a heavy heart. Jesus was observing what he knew was taking place here: the defilement of God’s chosen meeting place.
  • You see, Jesus went into the temple as the King of Jerusalem. He went as the Lord of the temple. He went as the one to whom the temple pointed. He went as the one of whom Malachi spoke of four hundred years earlier:
  • …the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.” (Malachi 3:1–4)

 

  • Application – Jesus hasn’t come to cleanse the temple, but to replace it! To fulfil the purpose the temple served in the worship of God. To ultimately deliver those who believe from the wrath of God. That is what Jesus had come to do. He would give his life as a ransom. Yet, once Jesus addresses this in the temple, He attacks them at the very heart of their religion. And soon, this will lead to the cries for His death!

 

  • Conclusion – Did the people know He had the credentials of Messiah? Of course; born of the line of David, miracle worker, heal sick people, cast out demons, raises dead people. How could they possibly decide to crucify Him? Well, if Jesus doesn’t do what the sinner wants Jesus to do, the sinner will turn on Him.

 

  • Bridge – Therefore, instead of crowning Jesus as king, they mock him & murder him!

 

Application:

  • This was supposed to be about celebrating Jesus, yet He exposes the heart of man. And really, He looks at us and I ask, what does he expect? For us to surrender, to come, and to trust. He doesn’t want or hollow praises or our hypocritical prayer, or our sloppy devotion. He wants our hearts. I believe this is why He went into the temple.
  • To show His people that He sees the inside, and He alone Judges the inside! He rules the hearts of man, not a religious system. And so the thought of Jesus seeing us in this way is truly frightening, especially when we consider our sinfulness. Yet at the same time his gaze is also a grace. Because for those of us who trust, he sees that we are forgiven.

 

  • Sure, we all fall short of God’s glory. But because Jesus died for us and rose again, forgiveness is our birthright. If we confess our sins, God will forgive us sins. You may not be delivered from all that you want to be delivered from in this life. In fact, I can assure you that you won’t be. But we can be comforted that Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of God has heard our cries to save us from our sins—to save us from the wrath of God!—so that through it all, we can live a life of celebration in Him.