Devotional Reading: Matthew 21:1-11
Background Scripture: Matthew 20:25-28; 21:1-11
Key Verse: Matthew 21:5
Nowadays, It’s hard to tell who’s who. Like, is the face/person we meet now, the same person three months or years later? We all have that, “First meet” face, but who is that person three months down the road? Today’s lesson centers around Jesus entry into Jerusalem, the purpose of who He is, why He came and what He is about to endure for us. Let’s begin our journey.
I. The Preparation (Matthew 21:1-5)
Jesus arrival to Jerusalem comes into play during anticipation of the Passover Celebration. The Passover event was known throughout the region, people came from miles to be a part of such an event. So what is the Passover about? It is the memorial of the redemption of The Exodus from Egypt and rejoicing in God's salvation.
Jesus arrived six days “before” the Passover and spent time with Mary and Martha. He instructed two of his disciples to get a donkey and colt, and bring back to Him. That’s how God works, the donkey was part of the “preparation” for His entry into Jerusalem. Jesus further instructed the disciples, “If anyone should inquire why they were taking the donkey and colt, their response was to be, “The Lord hath need of them.”
Jesus entry into Jerusalem was not to be flamboyant (like kings who defeated their enemies in battle), but rather a display of humility. He rode on the back of a donkey, a lest regarded animal. He was a humble king but perfect in God’s plan for us.
II. The Procession (Matthew 21:6-11)
Unlike much fanfare, Jesus entry was low-key. He did not sit on a name brand saddle, but only the clothes of those that were with him. The donkey behaved in a manner as if knowing it was Jesus riding him. Upon Jesus arrival, he was met by a huge crowd that laid down clothes and branches in the pathway. What wasn’t cut down was used in a “waving” fashion to acknowledge His entry.
These acts, by the people was normally reserved for royalty. Additionally, these acts by the people demonstrated their belief that Jesus was much more than a prophet or rabbi. Within the multitude of people, there are two groups: Those that went “before” Him came from Jerusalem to meet Him and those that came “after” Him came from Bethany to follow Him.
People saying, “Hosanna, Hosanna” which means save, as Jesus entered the city. The people were hoping He would save them from Roman rule as with their ancestors from Egypt. It was their confirmation, of sort, that Jesus as the Son of David was fulfilling God’s promise to David and his lineage. Jesus was hailed as the King of Israel.
Upon His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the question was not so much as “What’s happening” but rather, “Who is this?” This larger than life individual. Here we have twelve men who followed Jesus, talked with Jesus, traveled with Jesus, but did they “really know” who He was?
Jesus asked his disciples who they believed He was. Only Peter stated, “Thou art the Christ, Son of the living God.” Because of Peter’s answer, Jesus declared, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18).
Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem was much more than celebrating the Passover. He was enroute to the cross. Life is consistent, at some point we all experience happiness, joy, sorrow, pain, and betrayal (just like Jesus). So how do we “prepare” for life’s expected as well as unexpected events?
We spend time in the Word, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15). Seeking spiritual guidance, worshipping with the body of believer’s, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25). Finally, serving our brothers, sisters, neighbors, and yes, our enemies (known and unknown).
Sis. Mary Turner