When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
This Sunday, March 29th 2015 is what in the Christian calendar is called Palm Sunday, when Christians remember the day Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly as King. Next week begins what is called the Passion Week—a week when Christians remember the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. The climax of it will be Easter Sunday when we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The passage for today highlights Jesus’ Triumphal entry to Jerusalem. He was greeted with a lot of rejoicing and adoration from the crowds. At last their long awaited Messiah was here.
But I would like us to focus on the question that was asked by the crowd: “Who is this?” Who is Jesus Christ? Was he a mere son of a carpenter from Nazareth? Was he an impostor who claimed to be a son of God? Through generations, the question of who Jesus is has evoked serious debate among devotees and skeptics alike. What has His identity got to do with you and me? What has it to do with the issues we grapple with in the world we live in?
Of course we know that different people respond differently to the Jesus question. For those who have embraced and identified with Him as their Lord and savior, he is the source of healing and salvation. The right response to the Jesus question has led to the healing and restoration of broken lives, families, communities and even nations. But it has also led to the persecution and death of many faithful Christians by those opposed to the Biblical claims of Jesus Christ.
In this passage Jesus is portrayed as:
- The Lord (verse 3): He is the Master; the One who has full control.
- The Messiah and King (verses 5 & 9). The One sent by God the Father to set people free from sin.
- The Prophet (verse 11). He is God’s representative to the people of God. From His mouth come the very words of God. But he is more than a Prophet; He is God incarnate!
Who is this Jesus? And how have you aligned your life to who He is?