THE FINAL WEEK OF JESUS’ LIFE IS BEGINNING, AND HE COMES TO JERUSALEM, TO PRESENT HIMSELF AS A SERVANT OFFERING FOR SIN.
“1And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. 4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. 5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? 6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. 11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.” Mark 11:1-11 (KJV)
This event is often called the “Triumphal Entry”, but it seems more appropriate to call it a “Servants entry”. Of course, this is the event that leads to His death, burial and resurrection, and this is exactly what He is doing. He is not coming into the city as a conquering King, but as a lowly servant.
He is riding a borrowed donkey, not a gallant steed. The donkey is known as a surefooted, strong, burden carrier, but certainly not an animal for war or for conquering anything.
This is actually a first for Jesus. He has previously been only with His disciples, and occasional crowds wanting to see His mighty works and miracles. He has not ran seeking the attention of others, but now He is coming presenting Himself as a lowly, suffering servant. For the week that is ahead the people will need to make their final dicision as to who Jesus is. Is He the promised Messiah, or is He a fraud who is faking it all?
Jesus sends two of His disciples to find a donkey colt tied just as Jesus said it would be. The events happen just as Jesus told them it would. They begin untying, and someone asked them what they were doing and they told them what the Lord said to say. Everything was fine with them then.
One of the things we can see from this text is that Jesus never owned anything in this world. He said He had no place to lay His head. Any time He was sleeping it was a borrowed place. To preach to people along the shore of the Sea of Galilee He borrowed a boat. He died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. Jesus had no earthly wealth. Who are we to castigate, ridicule, and despise the poor, when Jesus was poor when He walked among us.
As Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem the people began to pay homage to Him as He rode on this unbroken donkey. They lay their garments in His path, they cut palm leaves and lay in the path, and they were singing. What were they singing? “Hosanna!Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They worship and praise Him now, but in a few days, some of these same people will be crying out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him”.
The people as they sing praise to Jesus are singing Psalms 118:26. How is it that a multitude of people can praise Him one day and just a few days later, many are willing to “Crucify Him” just because their religious leaders lead it. It was ordained by God that Jesus die for the sins of mankind, that He be buried – carrying our sins away; never to be seen again; and the He rise again from death for our justification. It was the ugliness of man’s sin that caused Him to be their; it was His love that kept Him there; and it was God in His wrath toward sin that struck Him, taking His life, turning His back on His own Son. It was Joseph of Arimethea who loaned Jesus a tomb in which to be buried, and it was the power of God that raised Him to life again, coming out of the tomb after three days.
-Tim A. Blankenship