As I stretch to make it through this last week of my “no dairy, no sugar” fast, I remembered a book written by my pastor. Pulling it from the shelves, I eagerly began digesting the scenes described in detail of my Savior’s Last Week. Join me each day recalling what He experienced.
Travel back with me to the First Century! Come and see as crowds gather to greet a man riding into Jerusalem on a donkey! This throng of bystanders will hail Jesus as the coming King but by the end of the week cry out for his crucifixion.
Here He is, the coming King!
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”John 12:12-13, NLT
In his book, Almost Empty, an inside look at the Passion week, Stephen Davey notes: “on any given Passover in the first century…the population of Jerusalem would swell to approximately three million people… Many had heard wonderful things concerning Jesus, and there was an undercurrent of hope that He could indeed be the Messiah of whom the prophets foretold.”
Do you know the significance of the waving of palm branches as Jesus rode into Jerusalem?
Pastor Davey points out that “the palm tree had long been a sacred symbol in Israel and waving palm branches was an activity reserved for honoring royalty.”
These people are honoring Jesus as their King!
He goes on to explain that believers will do the same thing as they stand before the throne of God in eternity.
After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”Revelation 7:9-10
But first we witness Jesus riding into the crowded city of Jerusalem not on a great steed but the back of an unbroken colt which was foretold some 600 years earlier by the Prophet Zechariah!
Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.Zechariah 9:9
Davey points out from the gospel writers that this colt was “an unbroken colt – a young donkey that had never been ridden before. Not only does this fulfill prophecy, but it is a miracle of Christ’s authority over creation.”
Do you see Him riding through the crowded city of bustling people shouting and waving palm branches? He is on the back of a colt that has never been ridden which normally would be jumpy and easily frightened. We are witnessing prophecy being fulfilled in this moving account as His authority and control are on display for all to see while he prepares to go to the cross for you and me, willingly!
Have you come to the place of kneeling before this Humble King as your Messiah?