I remember when I was growing up, I enjoyed one Christmas so much! I guess it was 1977. For once, I understood that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ our saviour so within three months when I heard that that same Jesus was now old and was going to die for my sins, I became confused!!!
How can my saviour who was born a child recently grow older than me and has become a man!
I will attribute that to miscommunication on the part of my Sunday School Teachers. Anyways, the confusion was cleared for me when it was later explained that the incident took place almost 2000 years ago and that we are commemorating the event!
Have you ever enjoyed the privilege of a red carpet reception to a well-attended function? How did you feel when you were taking those strides? Well, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a grand style! It was at the peak of His three-year ministry as a teacher, healer and miracle worker. Before then, he was known as a carpenter in Nazareth. So, it was a big day yet it was a donkey’s feet that took those strides carrying the Messiah!
Yes, I am talking about the Palm Sunday! Some Christians refer to it as ‘The Sunday of the Passion’, or ‘The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem.’ Jesus came in peace riding on a donkey to Jerusalem. It was a time of the Jewish festival of the Passover. Crowds of followers and supporters lined the road and waved palm branches and put palm fronds on the road and even laid their cloaks on the ground and the multitude hailed him shouting Hossana! Hossana to “King who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mark 11:1-10)
This is synonymous to the political leaders of our days. During campaign time, their supporters will be chanting the party slogans and hailing them. They want those political leaders and their caucus groups to identify them and see that they support their party so that when they win the elections, they will gain favours from them.
Similarly, people in Jesus’ days were singing hosanna and hailing him because they were looking for a political leader who would deliver them from the Romans! The Romans demanded taxes and loyalty from the Jews. The only area they were free from was their worship of God. Even that was becoming a threat.
Yet, Jesus was a different kind of a political leader. He spoke about a kingdom that was totally different from what we know. A kingdom where leaders served instead of being served.
As a political leader with a kingdom, He could have ridden on a horse or a chariot but according to the Bible, He rode on a borrowed donkey’s colt, one that had never been ridden before and his disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Him to sit on. Not a specially sewn material to cover the donkey.
When Jesus entered the temple, He taught the people, healed them, and drove out the money-changers and merchants who had made His Father’s house a “den of robbers.” Has Jesus entered your temple? Has he cleansed you? The Apostle Paul says your body is the temple of God!
Matthew posits the King coming on the foal of a donkey was an exact fulfilment of Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus rides into His capital city as a humble King and is hailed by the people as such, in the manner of the day. The streets of Jerusalem, the royal city, are open to Him, and like a king, He ascends to His palace, not a temporal palace but the spiritual palace that is the temple, because His’ is a spiritual kingdom. He receives the worship and praise of the people because only He deserves it.
No longer does He tell His disciples to be quiet about Him (Matthew 12:16, 16:20) but to shout His praises and worship Him openly. The spreading of cloaks was an act of homage for royalty (see 2 Kings 9:13). Jesus was openly declaring to the people that He was their King and the Messiah they had been waiting for.
Unfortunately, the praise the people lavished on Jesus was not because of His saving them from their sins but rather they welcomed him as a messianic deliverer, who would lead them in a revolt against Rome.
Many did not believe Christ as Savior, yet hoped that perhaps He would be to them a great temporal deliverer. They shouted the loudest hosannas, recognizing Him as the Son of David who came in the name of the Lord.
But when He failed in their expectations, when He refused to lead in a massive revolt against the Roman rule, the multitude changed their mindset about him. In a few days, their hosannas changed to “Crucify Him, Crucify!” (Luke 23:20-21). He faced rejection and abandonment. Hhhmm… how human beings can change!
So, my story today is about a King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble.
Jesus Christ did not come to conquer by subtle ways as our political leaders seem to do today nor build a physical kingdom or big chapels as is the order of the day now, nor built a kingdom with a campaign managers strategy or human hands and material, rather, He built His kingdom by love, grace, mercy, and He sacrificed His own life for His people.
His Kingdom is not of armies and splendour but of lowliness and servanthood. He conquered nations through their hearts and minds by shedding His own blood for the forgiveness of sin. His message is eternal peace with God. If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, we will have peace and love. If you are a believer, and a follower of Jesus, then be a replica of the resurrected Christ.
But if you have not experienced Christ, then, you are not a part of the kingdom of God. No political party can give you the peace and hope you need to survive on this planet. Be a part of Christ’ Kingdom today! Call me now on 0208682321 or email [email protected]