As Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time it was in humility but as triumphal as the King that He is. He came into the city knowing that he would soon be put to death, for this was the purpose of His coming. But in the short time he walked the earth it was clear that the people who followed him and listened to his teachings knew and recognised who he was. Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
We see Jesus tell the disciples to enter a nearby town where they would find a colt that had never been ridden. He told them to untie it and bring it to him to ride into Jerusalem. This was to fulfil prophecy that the King would enter the city in this way.
Contrast this with the manner in which the kings of this world travel. There are great fanfares, cavalcades, streets are blocked off, high security is put in place and so on. Even rock stars and Hollywood stars come as if they were regal. But Jesus came on the back of the colt of an ass. He did not even have a saddle but the people threw their garments on the back of the ass for him to sit upon.
It shows as He always did, the humble nature of the Lord. And it again reinforces to us that if we are to be like Christ, we too need to learn humility and not put ourselves onto false pedestals.
Triumph in Jesus
However, Jesus despite His humility was greatly worshipped by those who followed. Their accolades were of the highest order as they lay down their cloaks on the road and tore branches of trees to lay on the path and finally to offer perfect praise. In their words we hear the truth of Jesus and who He was.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Verse 38) Such praise in recognition of Jesus. However the people also expected that He would step in and rule, which was his rightful role. They did not understand at the time that there was still much more to happen before the final rule and reign of the Lord would take place.
Victory in Jesus Christ
What they failed to know was that Jesus was to be put to death for their sake, and ours too. His purpose was to die for the sin of mankind so that we could be reconciled to God. His aim was to bring us the victory through his suffering and death.
But at this time while he entered Jerusalem he was being praised in recognition of his place. In spite of the words and praise of the people we see that the Pharisees were indignant and annoyed saying to Jesus to tell his disciples to be quiet. The Pharisees did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and so were opposed to this event.
But then we see Jesus tell them that, “…if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Verse 40) He was telling the Pharisees that this praise would have come from inanimate objects if the people were silent. God would have His Son praised regardless and this perfect praise would come from any source. This should have been proof enough also for the Pharisees to recognise Jesus as the Messiah, but they did not and in a few short days we see they conspired to put him to death.
But in his death we have life. Even though Jesus suffered, he did it all for us so that we would not have to suffer. Praise be to Jesus and God in the highest for the wondrous gift he has given to each of us so that we can be set free from sin and find the truth of freedom in the New Covenant.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Charlie Balch)