The Triumphal Entry
 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”  And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.  The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.  The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.  So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” (ESV)
In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Jesus comes to us in ways we would never expect. He comes to us in weakness. God clothed in humanity. God born in a manger. God living in poverty, eating and drinking with the outcasts, the disreputable, the tax collector, the sick, the beggars and all sorts of sinners. A God who doesn’t come in the magnificence of lightning, clouds and thunder, riding a beautiful royal horse with His heavenly entourage, but instead rides on a donkey. A young donkey.
Although the crowd who gathered, we are told were there because they had heard about his power, in raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, he has come in a way we would never expect, simply riding on a humble animal headed to do what no one would expect, he would ride in to suffer and die on a cross for sinners.
It’s no wonder our expectations of our Lord are wrong, for we don’t even really know ourselves much less our God. We expect ourselves to find a way to make things right with a God whom we have dishonored. We expect the good people go to heaven and the bad ones go to hell. We expect that God would grade on some kind of curve, or forget about the awful wickedness we have committed and all of our years of commandment breaking and will instead accept us since we have showed up at church, or given money to this or that good cause. We are definitely much better than this person or that person. We aren’t as bad as we could be. Our kids are better than this person we know, or those kids over there. Yet, all of this thinking is nothing but useless religion, false teaching and all the stuff our Old Adam loves to contemplate so that we can become our own Saviors, we don’t need someone to do it for us, we can do it ourselves. This is the way of the flesh, the way of sin and the way of death.
Jesus however, as not only our Creator, as the One who spoke “let there be light, and there was light”, and “Father forgive them” doesn’t come in the ways a sinner, full of guilt and shame would expect. Rather than wait until the sinner cleaned himself up a little, or does something of merit, Jesus comes in the midst of all the sin, shame and suffering in the world to be among us. To be present with the sinner in their sin. To actually take the sin and the shame upon Himself and head to Jerusalem on a donkey to take on false accusation and ridicule and scorn, to suffer and die in your place, for your sin. To humbly receive all of this, instead of demonstrating His power in these events of Holy Week, in weakness, for you,
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 5:8
Even today our Lord doesn’t come to us in ways we would expect. He doesn’t come through loud and flamboyant events, or world leaders gathering in important places, He doesn’t come in a loud voice from heaven with trumpets and all kinds of fanfare. Instead he comes to you, truly, certainly and actually in the weakness of preaching. From a preacher who himself is a sinner in need of the same Savior as everyone else.
St Paul tells the church this:
“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
(1 Corinthians 1:20–25)
God has chosen the weakness of preaching and words spoken by a sometimes, stumbling, mumbling pastor who also is a sinner and saint at the same time, to deliver His gifts of forgiveness to you. He has chosen the simplicity of water with a promise to wash you clean, to give you personally His death and resurrection, all that He wins during His Holy Week through such simple means.
He has chosen to come to you personally and actually in bread and wine that you may receive the same Jesus who entered into Jerusalem on a humble donkey, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and buried for you.
He comes to you, while you’re still a sinner, in your actual sin, fear, shame, uncertainty and even your outright denial, to repent you, to give you faith, to cleanse you and make you His own.
He comes in weakness and humility to take the judgement for your sin, cast out the devil and his demons, that you would walk in freedom, in newness of life as His own friend and brother. He has come for you and for all men to deliver His victory over sin, death and the devil to the world.
 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. (ESV)  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:31–33)
So He comes to you this morning, in the weakness of words, water, bread and wine to deliver to you the forgiveness of all your sins, that you may know and believe that all He does and accomplishes this Holy Week is for you.
In the Name of Jesus,