April 14 I Sunday
1 Samuel 25-26
“The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” —Matthew 21:9-10
During the annual Passover celebration, Jerusalem was overflowing with people. Every Jewish adult within a 20-mile radius was obligated to attend, and their number greatly increased with many thousands flocking in from more distant areas.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem was something of a climax for which anticipation had been building ever since the disciples identified Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:21 states, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law…” Not only was the place significant, but the timing of Passover was extremely significant as well. For 1500 years, Passover had been a clear foreshadowing of Jesus as the Passover Lamb who would be sacrificed for all humanity.
Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples to retrieve the colt of a donkey for His use. On all other occasions, Scripture records Jesus travelling on foot, but this was to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (NKJV). The crowd spread their cloaks on the road and lay branches before Him, praising and shouting, “Hosanna in the highest!”
Just a few days later, Jesus appeared as a helpless victim of the Sanhedrin council and the Roman governor, but He by no means came as a victim. He came as King, demonstrating control of His situation by requisitioning a donkey, a right which belonged to royalty and was claimed by the rabbis. As He entered the city, it was to the mass acclamation of great crowds declaring Him “Messiah” and “King.” He did not dispute this, but in fact, demonstrates it by overturning the tables of money changers and driving out all who were buying and selling in the temple, which He told them is “a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17).
While in Jerusalem, Jesus taught every day in the temple courts, adding more fuel to the conspiracy of Jewish leaders to kill Him. They questioned His authority and endeavored to trap Him with trick questions, but all attempts to discredit Jesus not only failed but incriminated His accusers, excluding them from entering the kingdom of God. Members of the Sanhedrin council became increasingly threatened and expedited their plot to rid the world of Jesus. What they unwittingly did instead was set in motion God’s divine plan for saving the world, to which Jesus was fully committed.
Prayer: Precious Lord, thank You for entering Jerusalem, knowing all that lay ahead of You. You are my King and I will forever praise and worship You.