Fear Not, Daughter of Zion (Palm Sunday 2018)

John 12:14-15, 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!”

I have marched in many parades. First, in high school marching band for our Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Liberty Fest parades celebrating our nation’s freedom and independence. The crowds threw confetti and cheered as we marched and played patriotic marches by John Philip Sousa. And second, as an Army soldier in the Army Bands, marching and playing marches on national, military, and local community holidays. As we marched in our fatigues or Dress Blues, the crowds threw confetti and cheered, shouting, “Thank you for your service! God bless America!” As we marched in, we were the symbol of our nation’s men and women, whose selfless service says, “Fear not, O daughter of America; behold, we go before you, sitting on tanks and Humvees.” They don’t have to fear and they can cheer and live in peace because we go and die for their peace.

This Palm Sunday, we recall Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as the long awaited King of Israel, seated on a colt, fulfilling the Scriptures (cf. Zechariah 9:9). “Fear not, daughter of Zion!” Don’t fear what? In the context of Zechariah is the promise of the destruction of Israel’s enemies and God’s promise to restore Israel (Zechariah 1-12:9). They will look upon the one to be pierced and mourn over Him (12:10-14), and on that day the house of David (Jesus’ lineage) shall open up to bring in more inhabitants “to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness” (13:1). So, as the crowds cheered “Hosanna in the highest” and waved their palm branches, they have no reason to fear, for their King is going before them to die for their sins and to cleanse them from their sins. He did this for you and me, too. Therefore, fear not, brothers and sisters; behold, our King is coming, sitting on a white stallion (Revelation 19:11-16).

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