Key Text: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12-36
The way Jesus entered Jerusalem was provocative and made a clear statement to his enemies. Sometimes Christians must take a stand for the truth in the face of sin, disregarding the consequences. Peter, John, Stephen, Paul, Silas & Jason, all displayed this attitude when faced with sin opposing truth, (Acts 4:5-5:18, 7:1-60, 16:16-24, 17:6).Zechariah 9:9 was known to Jesus, and fulfilling this prophecy meant he must instruct his disciples to acquire the foal of a donkey, through miraculous foreknowledge, it was accomplished. This unbroken new donkey was ridden by Jesus with miraculous control. Jesus was demonstrating the nature of his reign as a King over anyone or anything that was in submission to him. Even something as stubborn as a mule! Normally, Kings and royalty rode on well-trained donkeys, if and only if they were on a mission of peace & diplomacy, but if a King journeyed on a mission of confrontation & war, they would ride on a horse, here Jesus made a miraculous statement on a lowly donkey to state that his reign would produce friendship between humanity and God. It is no coincidence that the triumphal entry into Jerusalem was on a Sunday, 1 week prior to his resurrection. His reign is introduced and established on the 1st day of the week. Every Sunday we should remind our self of His Kingship as Lord of our life and the entire universe, Col. 1:13-17.His journey from Mt. Olives to Jerusalem is prophesied in Zechariah 14:4-9. The very graphic and physical language of Mt. Olives separating is apocryphal language used to describe the separation of heaven and earth when Jesus began this journey. In Heaven, he was offering peace, on earth a war began. The thief on the cross was the first to cross over the wide gap opened up from Mt. Olives, entering into peace. Today, we can enjoy the security of the new Jerusalem, as our spiritual inheritance is a reality today in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 1:3. The crowds that praised Him in his entry, were not shouting, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”, instead they were quoting Psalm 118:25-26, they believed that God’s Davidic Messiah had arrived and that a new government would be established, never to be shaken. Many Jews understood Psalm 118 to be a Psalm of dedication for the new 2nd Temple, if this is true, we can appreciate the statement God is making to announce the dedication of his Son’s body as becoming our new Temple, Col. 1:18, 1st Cor. 6:19-20. The Pharisees, Sanhedrin and chief priest were outraged at the public’s praise. When tell Jesus to silence the crowd, his reply shows them that God is in control of their praise, and even the rocks would break out in praise if needed. See Hab.2:9-11, where evil coveters who give bad counsel, are rebuked by stones and a reply is made from beams. This alludes to their physical Temple testifying their demise.The statements of Jesus after His entry are themes established forever. Firstly, If humanity’s spirit doesn’t praise His Kingship, then nature will praise Him – God is in control, not us. Secondly since the Jewish Leaders reject His Kingship, then Jerusalem will fall, (Lk. 19:40-44). Thirdly, God will honor anyone who serves Jesus, and that service is to be based on denying our self, in imitating Jesus, (Jn.12:23-27). Fourthly, God’s voice is heard to establish the name of Jesus as a standard for judgment, (Jn. 12:30-32). His presence as the Son of Man is synonymous with the Christ, and while He is in the world, He is a light. Our faith in Him as Christ, reflects that light in a dark world, Jn. 12:34-36.