Today we remember Palm Sunday, the day that the King rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey. The day that Jesus finally let people treat Him like a king, if but for a moment. It’s one of the few events that all 4 Gospel writers record (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-38, and John 12:12-19), so evidently it’s one that the Lord means for us to take note of.
Think about it: On this day, Jesus fulfilled the words of Zechariah the prophet:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The people knew this, from the least to the greatest. The symbolism was not lost on them, which was why so many ran out to greet Him (see John’s account). They had heard about the miracles Jesus performed (Luke 19:37) and how He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 12:9).
The Pharisees knew the symbolism implied in Jesus coming in on a donkey, which is why they called for Jesus to rebuke His disciples (see Luke 19:39-40). These are the same guys that also wanted to kill Lazarus (John 12:10)…as if the poor guy hadn’t been through enough already…because many believed in Jesus through the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection from the dead.
You see, both groups missed it. The people saw a King Who would give them bread and heal the sick and give them independence from Roman rule. They saw an earthly king, not a heavenly Messiah. And the Pharisees missed it because they saw this uneducated rabbi Who broke their laws and moved outside the upper crust.
Which is why both groups shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” five days from now. When they saw Him for Who He was/is, they rejected Him. They didn’t want a Suffering Servant, they wanted a Conquering King. And they rejected the One Who came to save them all.
But before I get to high and mighty here…
Don’t I do the same thing?
Don’t I seek Him for what He can do for me? Aren’t my prayers often filled with “heal this, and fix that, and do this” instead of “Praise God from Whom all blessings flows! Thy will be done in me!”
Don’t get me wrong: Jesus promises that He hears our prayers, that He intercedes on our behalf to the Father. I believe He wants us to bring out concerns to Him. However, do I see the Crucified King of Glory as a genie in a bottle more than Lord of the Universe? Is He Lord and Savior, or is He Beck and Call?
This week, I hope to do the unthinkable for me: I want to post everyday on the events of Holy Week. I’m going to try to take a piece of each day of this, the climax of History, the most important week of all time, and comment on it. Not that I think I have anything earth-shattering to add, but because I believe this IS the most important week of all time.
So tonight, remember: your King has come. Lowly and meek, riding on a donkey. Do you see Him?