Saturday, April 16, 2011

Preparation for the Triumphal Entry

While Jesus supped in Bethany the word spread quickly that He was in town and large groups of people began to assemble. John tells us that they came not for Jesus but to see Lazarus who had been raised from the dead. Despite their initial motivation, once they had seen Jesus many went away believing in Him. This irritated the chief priests and so they counseled together how they might put both Jesus and Lazarus to death.

After his stay in Bethany Jesus walked over the mountain into Bethphage and the Mount of Olives, and from there he sent two disciples to go into the nearby village and bring back a colt that no one had ever sat upon. He told them they would recognize the colt because they would see it tied by a door as soon as they entered the village. Jesus told them that as they loosed the colt, the owner would say to them, “Why do ye this?” and they were to answer, “The Lord hath need of him.” Upon hearing this, the owner would readily agree to send the colt with them.

The disciples did as Jesus commanded and everything happened exactly as He told them it would.
 The interesting thing about this account is that Jesus knew exactly where the colt would be found and even the words that would be said. Looking back on this experience after the crucifixion, the disciples could not help but understand that He also knew what was coming to Him. 

But there is more to learn from this account. A ass had specific symbolism that is important here. Horses were used by soldiers in war, but an ass or a mule were gentler animals and thus symbols of royalty. While history often shows us kings who are selfish and proud, the intent has always been that a king should be someone who loves, protects, and cares for his people. Thus by his choice of animal to ride, Jesus proclaims to all who have eyes to see that He has come not as a warrior to save them from Roman bondage, but as a King who will save them from the bondage of sin. And just as the colt had never been ridden before, this type of King had never been known upon the earth before.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

I enjoyed reading about this. It comforts me to know that just as Jesus knew the details of where to find the young mule, He knows the details of our lives as well.