Day 89

Read Luke 19:29-44.

Devotion by: Ken Phillip
Triumphal Entry: Zachariah’s prophecy

Here we have Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem in a three-movement concerto:

i. A donkey, never before ridden;

ii. The adoration, the Pharisees, and the rebuke; and,

iii. Tears for Jerusalem.

The first movement sees Jesus sending two of His disciples to collect, not a powerful steed, but a lowly donkey. An ass. The disciple’s acquisition of the donkey has the feel of either something pre-arranged with its owners or of Christ having influence over all, including the hearts of the owners. In either case, Christ intentionally sets out to fulfill another prophecy, this one from Zechariah about 500 years earlier: “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). So, the first movement of the concerto has set the stage for Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the location of the Temple, the center of Jewish life, and the future seat of God’s Kingdom.

In the second movement, the Palm Sunday scene is on full display, palm leaves and all. “And they shouted and sang as the procession moved along ‘Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in Heaven, and glory in highest Heaven.’” Christ, riding on a donkey. Surely this must have seemed odd to some. The King on a donkey. We will never know this side of Heaven how many realized the significance of this fulfillment of prophecy. But the Pharisees certainly grasped the significance of it. In the crescendo of the second movement, as confirmation of His Messianic claim, Jesus answers their admonishment, “This is such a big deal that if the people did not shout out, the very stones, maybe the most inanimate object in God’s created nature, would be forced to shout out instead” (paraphrase).

In the final movement, the procession reaches the crest of the hill, and the city of Jerusalem comes into sight. Can you feel the consuming sadness in Jesus’ weeping? Jesus had wept before, but surely, He was not as completely overwrought as in this acknowledgment of the rejection of God. Imagine the complexity of His sadness. The despair of knowing the outcome in advance. The fallen nature of man’s rejection of God. The future sacking of Jerusalem and the Temple.

And yet He moved on.

Jessica Spivey