Cosmological Entry into Jerusalem (John 12)

Date: 3/21/2021
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Organization: All Saints Church
Price: FREE

Chiastic Outline of John

1. New Creator: Water into wine (2:1-11)

 2. Redeemer/Healer: The official/nobleman's son (4:46ff) 

   3.  True Sabbath: The paralyzed man at the pool (5:2-9) 

    4. Bread of Life: Multiplication of loaves (6:1-14) 

   5. Light of the World: The man born blind (9:1-7) 

  6. Resurrection & Life: The raising of Lazarus (11:1-44)

7. Living Water: The cross (19:1-37)
8. New Adam/Gardener: The resurrection (20:1-29)

John alone provides the “Palm Sunday” chronology (“six days before the Passover” + “the next day,” 12:1 & 12:12) embedded in Church Time. John’s “triumphal entry” also provides a strong rationale as to why the crowds hailed Jesus, namely the raising of Lazarus (vv. 17-18). These waving branches (unique to John) provide a symbolic “riding in the clouds” (on the tops of the trees). This kingly “pretense” provides fuel for the murderous fires in the Pharisees hearts (v. 19). They proclaim (rightly, but ironically) that the “world” (cosmos) has gone after Jesus; just at this point a group of cosmopolitan Greeks beseech Him (v. 20).

The term for "Palms" (ie., date palms Greek PHOINIX) is only used here and in Revelation 7:9 and both have reference to "the world" or the "nations" -   "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands."

The background to is in Exodus 15:26–27 -  And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.” 27 Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters."

Christ’s words explain the very heart of his mission: “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (v. 24-25). Christ’s sacrificial and substitutionary death is for the cosmos, just as the Temple was a picture of God's saving plan for Israel (12 springs) and the Nations (70 palms).


Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more