"Passion of Christ" ~Matthew 21:1-3…6-9
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest
Jesus had confessed His Messiahship to the woman at the well in Samaria. He had approved the confessing of it by Simon Peter of Caesarea-Philippi, and had just recently declared it to Martha at the time of raising Lazarus from the dead. However, He had never allowed any open proclamation of it to the people in general until now.
For the first and only time, on this Sunday, Jesus accepted the praises of the general public. He asked for a donkey to ride, fulfilling the prophet Zechariah’s five-hundred-year-old prediction that the king would come, humble and mounted on a colt. Jesus knew full well the statement He was making. He was revealing Himself as The Messiah, the long-awaited King of Israel. So, He let the crowd wave palm branches and sing His praises. Yet, Jesus knew the soon reality of the change of their hearts. He had come to save them, answering their cries, “Hosanna-save us now!”, but He knew on Friday they would reject His offer of Salvation. They wanted no part of Jesus as the “Son of David” or the “Prince of Peace,” They wanted a king just like all the other nations had.
If the nation of Israel had studied scripture and humbled themselves before God, when Jesus topped the hill, looking down on Jerusalem, they would have seen a great banner that read, “Welcome, Messiah,” and we would be in eternity today!
The day seems anything but triumphal!
Pastor Ronnie Arnold