And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. [Matthew 21:1-9]
A new Church Year opens. Under the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Grace. The ancient prophet Zechariah saw how this King of Grace would come in a triumphal procession to the capital city of Jerusalem. He still comes to us with all his grace in his Word and his Sacrament. Invisibly, but no less effectively. For us too the prophet's cry is intended:
"Behold Thy King Cometh Unto Thee!"
His greatness and his blessedness are beyond compare and should insure his joyful reception by us.
- The King long promised.
- The promise reached back to Eden. Zechariah made it over 500 years before its fulfillment.
- The hope of the world hung upon this promised King. His was not a Kingdom like those of men. Describe. But a Rule to set men's souls free from the tyranny of sin. A Rule of grace, to bless and to make happy forever.
- The King's deity.
- Despite his lowliness his deity shines forth in his omniscience. Thus in all his miracles. The raising of Lazarus.
- A King less than the Son of God could not have brought salvation and heavenly grace to the world.
- The King's meekness.
- No army, no outward power, a borrowed ass, a band of twelve disciples: "meek," one who cannot resist.
- He came not to force men, but to bless them, not to demand of them, but to bestow upon them. So defenseless, because he came to die and to shed his blood in expiation.
- The King who works out and bestows salvation.
- The Savior-King. Infinite grace. The price he paid. Thorn-crowned.
- Universal redemption. Blood and death of the Son of God. Infinite value. Dispensed to all who believe.
- The jubilant reception at Jerusalem. Ephemeral. What is left for the Jews since they rejected their King?
- Our jubilant reception renewed to-day, more wholeheartedly than ever. We know the King's grace and salvation. There is no other name.