The Bible records that the Sunday before the crucifixion Jesus had a triumphal entry to Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt and the multitudes laid before Him their cloaks and branches of palm trees while praising God and saying, “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:10).
By His triumphal entry, Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of Zachariah that said, “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” (Zachariah 9:9). The first clause of this prophecy resembles Isa. 62:11.
Jesus was following the custom of a royal entry into the city, as in the days of old. He presented Himself to Israel as the rightful King, the One who was to sit upon the throne of David (2 Sam. 7:12, 13; Matt. 1:1; Acts 2:30). Jesus acknowledged the title “King of the Jews” (Luke 23:3; John 18:33, 34, 37), but hastened to add, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
Even though Jesus knew that this entry would lead Him to the cross, yet He went through with it that the attention of all men be turned toward Him in the closing hours of His life, that all might realize and be sure that He is indeed the Messiah and the fulfillment of the OT prophecies.
In the afternoon of that Sunday, Jesus again acted as the Messiah-King of the Jews when He entered the courts of the Temple and drove out merchants, and overturned the tables of the money changers saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:17). Jesus exercised His kingly authority to cleanse the temple in order that all men might have full opportunity to understand the significance of His crucifixion (v. 1, 5).
In triumph, Jesus rode to Jerusalem then to the cross, where, in defeat, wearing a crown of thorns as “King of the Jews” (John 19:19), but in reality, He died as a mighty Conqueror. He overcame forever the powers of darkness and evil in this world. The Triumphal Entry was “the dim foreshadowing” of Jesus’ return in the clouds of heaven.
In His service,
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