Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem for the last time.
Let’s set the stage …
Crowds are starting to gather. The people are expectant. The governor’s worried. The religious leaders are uneasy.
God is coming to town.
Here’s what happened, according to multiple eyewitness accounts:
At the hill called the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt, which no one has ever ridden, by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying them?’ say, ‘The Lord needs them and will send them back here shortly.’”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey’s colt.'”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them and found it just as he had told them. The colt was outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
They replied, “The Lord needs it.” The people let them go.
They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he performed that sign, went out to meet Jesus. Some spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut palm branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.”
So the Pharisees said to one another, “See this is going nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
(Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19)
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He’s the humble, gentle and compassionate King, weeping over Jerusalem in the midst of the celebration.
2. What exactly does he want us to do?
As Jesus himself said: “Recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
We can have God in our ♥. Right now. Forever.
How on earth can we not celebrate that?
Shout out a HOSANNA or AMEN or maybe even a WOOOOOHOOOOO with lots of great big fat JOY wherever you are right now!
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Madlen)