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Holy Week: Palm Sunday

Triumphal entry: What was it? It was the day we call Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem some 2000 years ago and proclaimed himself as the Messiah promised by God to his people.

Photo courtesy of Don Hendricks via Pintrest

This is how it took place:

As Jesus and his disciples were approaching Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples into the city. He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and when you get there you will find a donkey tied there with her colt by her. The colt will have never been ridden. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him, ‘The Lord needs them, and he will send them back here shortly.’”

The disciples went and found the donkey and her colt just as Jesus had said they would. They were tied at the doorway of the owner’s house. As the disciples were untying them some people standing there, presumably the owner of the donkeys, asked, “What are you doing, untying the donkey and her colt?”

They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, “The Lord needs them, and he will send them back here shortly.” And with that answer they let them go.

The disciples brought the Donkey and her colt to Jesus. They placed their cloaks on the back of the colt and Jesus mounted the colt and rode it into Jerusalem.

As Jesus approached Jerusalem people threw their cloaks on the road, while others spread palm branches they had just cut while in the fields. As they continued on and came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, there was a large crowd gathered there. They were disciples of Jesus and they shouted with joy:

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

“Blessed is the King of Israel!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

As Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered excitedly, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

After Jesus had entered into Jerusalem he went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went back out to Bethany with his twelve disciples and stayed with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

All of this took place on Sunday before Passover began and took place to fulfill the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

You can read this account for yourself in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-44 and John 12:12-19.

What can we as horsemen take from this?

The one thing that jumps out to me the most is the fact that Jesus rode the colt, which was specifically said to have never been ridden before. Now think of this, you have a young colt that is still with its mother (in the wild a foal will stay with its mother until it is about two years old) and has never been ridden. Would you decide that to be the mount for you to ride into a large crowd?

Jerusalem was a large city with a good sized population that swelled to the breaking point during Passover for all who traveled to fellowship together as the Law commanded. I don’t know about you but putting the first ride on a horse (or in Jesus’ case, donkey) would not include hopping on and riding into the largest population in the area.

In addition to the large crowds they were also putting their cloaks on the ground for the donkey to walk on as well as branches. Now the branches we could understand, it would be something this colt may have been familiar with, but cloaks? Now when in his natural life would he have had to walk over cloaks which were different texture not to mention different colored? I can just imagine taking a young colt into this situation; it would spell nothing but disaster!

But here we see this was the mount prophesied for Jesus to enter into Jerusalem with. This is what he told the disciples to go and get for him to ride into town on. And this young, inexperienced donkey took it all in stride. Why? Because he was in the hands of his creator; he was obedient and he had full confidence in Jesus who spoke him into very existence.

The same is of us. Psalm 139 says that we are knit together in our mother’s womb by our creator. We are made different from all other creations of the earth because we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1). Are you obedient to the design and will of the Creator? Do you trust Him with your life? He wants nothing but the best for you and that is to dwell with him for all eternity in perfection. All we have to do to get there is submit and surrender to His perfect ways.

Blessings,

Greta