Markby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus entered Jerusalem in the triumphal procession of the Messiah King, as prophesied in Scripture (Psalm 118:25-26) the jubilant crowds entering Jerusalem shouted in song (vv. 9-10). The city had many gates, and the gate nearest the Mount of Olives, through which Jesus entered the city, was the East or Golden Gate. Today it is covered up and locked, as the Jews continue to await the coming of their Messiah (Ezekiel 44:1-3), refusing to believe that He already passed through it some 2,000 years ago.
A colt of a donkey in a nearby village, that ″no one has ever ridden″, was recruited for the occasion; Jesus sent two of His disciples to get the donkey (v. 2). We wonder what their conversation was along the way. Most of the time, if not always, Jesus walked when travelling. Why a donkey this time? It had been prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. This donkey was given the unique privilege of carrying Jesus on its back. It is interesting to note that some donkey breeds have hair on the back in the shape of a cross. Surely they remind us of this humble donkey which carried Jesus into the holy city. The owners of the donkey questioned the disciples who were untying it for the Master's use (Luke 19:33). When they said, ″The Lord needs it″, the villagers released the donkey for its sacred task (vv. 3-6).
The crowd was elated. So were the disciples. They may have thought of Jesus as the powerful political Messiah who would free His people from the iron yoke of the Romans. They failed to realise that Jesus was not a political Messiah, but truly the Messiah who came from heaven to seek and save His lost people. If they had noticed that Jesus did not go to the palace but to the temple in the city, they might have realised His true identity and mission.
Jesus went to the temple and ″looked around at everything″ (v. 11). He noted all the abuse and unfaithfulness going on in the temple, and on the next day He would respond appropriately. But for now, He returned to Bethany with His disciples, who were probably excited by all they had seen and anticipating glory and greatness, not realising that the clouds were gathering around Jesus.
It is possible to take part in a joyful religious event and still miss the point. Why do people misunderstand what God is doing? How does ignorance of God's Word contribute to such misunderstanding?
We are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). When Jesus enters our hearts, what would He observe as He looks around at everything? Let Him speak to you and respond to Him in prayer.