“Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas so who am I to try to take the lead? Still I run ahead and think I’m strong enough when you’re the one who made me from the dust. When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?” – Natalie Grant
Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19, Zechariah 9:9
The Triumphal Entry
On their way into Jerusalem, Jesus instructed two of His disciples to go find a donkey for him to ride on. It was an odd request, but they found the donkey Jesus was talking about and the owner allowed them to take it for Jesus. Jesus then rode into Jerusalem on this donkey. Officials often used donkeys for civil, peaceful duties. They would use horses for military movements. The fact that Jesus came riding in a donkey signified that He was there for peace, not for a hostile takeover. Jesus did this to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 “Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The people greeted Jesus with palm branches and cried “Hosanna!” The Jews had spread palm branches since the days of Maccabees as a symbol of victory. “Hosanna” means “O save!” and comes from Psalm 118, which the Jews quote during the Passover celebration. The Jews were obviously thinking of their deliverance from Rome and the Messiah they thought was coming. However, Jesus was not the Messiah they thought He would be. That is why He rode in on a donkey. The Jews could not understand that He was coming for spiritual deliverance, not physical deliverance.
Jesus then weeps for the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel because they did not understand the purpose of His coming. They were so caught up in the physical world that they missed their spiritual needs. Jesus came to fulfill the law they were so attached to. He came to give them a spiritual freedom like they never imagined. Yes, Jesus could have conquered the earthly world, overthrown the Roman kingdom and led the Jews to victory, but that was not His purpose. He came to conquer the spiritual realm, take back authority from Satan and bring victory to all people.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
- People thought Jesus was coming to overthrow Rome, but He had a different fight in mind. Is there a fight I am hoping Jesus will win for me, but He may be fighting another battle entirely?
- Do I trust that God is working when I do not see Him?