"Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the King of Israel!" 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,
15 "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey's colt."
16 At first His disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17 Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!"
This was one of the biggest feast of them all. Population in the city is swelling.
People are wondering if He is going to show up. Happened before and great things went on.
Word gets out on Sunday that Jesus is on His way—after the anointing of Mary.
There was an interesting contrast here and that of the entry of Jesus a few days later. Mary’s was deeply personal. And her's was a private expression of how she felt while the crowd’s response was a very public outpouring of enthusiasm.
They yell out HOSANNA! Meaning … hoshi ‘ ah-na means SAVE or HELP!
Please read (Psalm of Ascents) Ps 118:25-26. A song they sing and He fits in real well. Palm branches were symbolic of a victorious ruler (1 Macc 13:51; 2 Macc 10:7; 14:4).
This was all spoken of the coming Messianic salvation on the Mount of Olives. Alone, they may be not so important but the crowds pick up one more line that really pushes the event.
“Blessed is the King of Israel!”
So many were tired of Roman rule. Want the end of this foreign military all over their land. They want them out. A few years before—still fresh on everyone’s mind, a revolt lead by Maccabees, tried to ride Israel of Rome. Failed but almost did it! Still that feeling there. Seeing Jesus coming, what with His Power (raising a man from the dead)and authority (No one speaks like this Man!) they were excited! Ready to make Jesus king. Subdue the Gentiles!
Then Jesus blows that imagine by getting not on a horse but on a mule—a colt, in fact. This messed up what they were looking for! Not really a symbol of power. He is doing something new in their sight. Not doing things like the people THOUGHT He would. He calls up another picture: From the Prophets: “Don’t be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt!” (Zech 9:9). He is The King but not the King they thought He was going to be. He was the deliver but, as with Moses, not the one they were thinking of.
Turn to verse 16. They really did not understand. We can because we read the end of the story, but for these poor guys, they got swept up in the flow of the crowds and they too started to believe this idea. Caught up in the sounds and excitement. Lost true North bearings. Got pulled to the side, off the main path. Their compass was broken.
We never do that, right? We always see things as they really are. We never jump to conclusions. We always understand where we are going and why we are on this certain road.
Then the floor drops out. Even AFTER the CROSS and AFTER the raising from the dead, they were still thinking of the rebellion. See Acts 1:6.
The people cried out SAVE US! HELP US! And that is just what He was there for. They missed it. Some of these same men and women, maybe, joined in another crowd just a few days later to call for the killing of this Man on the colt. They changed their minds. Ever do that? Think one way for a long time and then, something happens and BOW, you change your mind. Not really a problem except when it deals with morality. When it comes to taking something that is not yours. When it comes to facing ridicule for believing the Truth. We change but He is the same!
He was to Save them. He was to Help them. That is why He came! But, for the most part, they did not really want saving nor did they really want help.
Much like us. Much like the Israelites in Egypt. After they heard that Moses was sent to deliver them, they got excited but then with it got hard, they changed their minds. Then they were freed, and off into the desert they went. They began to look back toward Egypt and desire the onions, or even the hard times of Egypt. Anything was better than dust and no water~ and having to walk by Faith!
The truth be known, Jesus fits perfectly! He, like none other, makes the Father known. He like none other was coming in His Name. This was His Mission. And most missed it. Don’t you.
John uses some interesting wording here. The people followed Jesus because “they heard He had done this sign.” They are following Jesus because He raised Lazarus from the dead. How can such a story die? The people were really freaked out over this. Some were so upset, they turned against Jesus and sided with the leaders of the Jews, who felt their hold on power was just one man away from folding up. This Jesus who now was leading many people, was, in fact, the Lord of Life! He can really give life! Maybe He can give us our country back, too? Way off course but they don’t see the big picture. We miss the point so often.
What is wrong with that story is that none of it happens that way. Life is not made up of good things happening to us. Life is hard. There is pain. We can’t always find a way out of our problems. And to make things really true to life, the Grandkids despise you.
So how does this story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem affect my life today?
Watch where this is going. He is Lord. He has a plan for you and me. His mind and eye is on that goal. No matter what that goal is, we don’t see it clearly. No matter what He does to show that goal to us, we are too blind to see. (I was lost and I was blind). He comes along side my life and touches me. I notice Him. I read about what He can and did do. I am impressed. I take it for granted that He is going to work THIS way in my life. He, for sure, has another plan. Not to bring glory to my life but to make my life Glory for Him. (It is all about Him). We sing about it. We go to talks that repeat that, but we do not believe it.
Surely He is here in my life to do things my way, we think. NOT!
But He is outside the city walls of our hearts. He is waiting for us to let Him in AS HE REALLY IS! As Lord! As THE One who is in control. His way is Best…not just better. He is Just and fair and not the nice old man who has no real power. He does not share Power with anyone! He is jealous of our love because He has done all to win our hearts.
He is THE One who comes into our lives … A Triumphal Entry into our life. He is the One who leads the dance. We are to follow. Not in a blind, robotic way, but with an open heart.
And the leaders of the people said: Look how the whole world has gone after Him! (v.19). They saw it but the people did not. Great if it were so…
In truth, our God is a missionary God. At first, it was just the Jews who sought Him. One by one, they came. We heard just before the triumphal entry that "many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in Him" (12:11).
Then the Pharisees are seeing that the WORLD is seeking Him. We only wish! There were people in that great city from all over the known world. They were being attracted to Jesus. The religious leaders saw this as a bad thing but not God! He sent His Son into the World to save the world. (John 3:16) All mankind. Jew, Gentile, Roman, barbarian, rich or poor, blind or lame. They all are going to serve Somebody.
Just as the Scriptures say in Zechariah and Isaiah, Jesus continues to bring together HIS Family, from every nation and tribe, all the time outside the way WE WOULD DO IT.
How does He enter our city? Through your heart. Today is Palm Sunday. Today, you can sing out HELP ME or SAVE ME!, but realize that He does hear you and He will act and He will call out your name! You should respond to His Call to you. Renew that call today.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come into my heart to stay!