1 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’” 4 So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5 and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go. 7 They brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven! 11 He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. — Mark 11:1-11
The Triumphal Entry
by Jim Cumbee
If you are over the age of 60, you probably remember the ‘50s TV cowboy show, “The Cisco Kid.” When I was about six, the fellow that starred in that show came to my tiny home town, and he was given a parade right down Main Street. To this day, I remember the excitement of that parade.
There is excitement, and then there is real excitement. Imagine the excitement of the Jewish people as they cheered the triumphal entry of their savior into Jerusalem. He was coming into town, they thought anyway, to set the stage to take political control of the city from their Roman overlords. To make this parade even more exciting, this was all happening during the festive Jewish holiday known as Passover. I mean, seriously, could it get any better for those cheering throngs of Jewish citizens? Well now, for all the Jewish citizens...except for the religious leadership, who saw Jesus’ growing prominence as a bona fide threat to their power base. It was time for some serious planning—this thing had gotten out of hand.
There were others in the crowd who also were not so impressed. In fact, they were plain mad. The Gentiles didn’t like co-existing with Jews anyway, so to see this Jewish miracle-worker coming to town would have no effect other than to disrupt their way of life. And we can’t forget the Roman soldiers and government officials who by now had to be figuring they had trouble on their hands.
Since we’ve read the back of the Book, we know how this all turns out. We know now what no one other than Jesus knew then. His triumphal entry that day set the God-ordained stage for His impending sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
You see, when God is at work, things aren’t always what they seem. What we see as bad, God can be using for good. What confounds us can be God moving in mysterious ways. What looks good in one sense might be laying the foundation for something He will later use to challenge and grow us.
Everybody had it wrong that day because they didn’t see Jesus’ triumphal entry through the lens of Scripture. Zechariah 9:9 foretold that He was humbly coming on the back of a young donkey. 2 Kings 9:13 prophesied that they would lay down their garments under Him.
But Jesus’ deity was also evident to anyone who was really paying attention. After all, He told them where to find a young donkey, on which no one had ever sat, that would be calm and accommodating. Just like when He raised Lazarus from the dead and calmed the angry storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was demonstrating His power over all of nature.
We often miss God’s hand at work in our life. We get caught up the excitement of the moment and take our eyes off of His Word and His promises to us. Whatever is going on around you, whether it be exciting or dull, troubling or fun, remember that God is at work in your life.
- Do you see life’s circumstances through a biblical perspective?
- Have you seen God’s work in your life—how what you thought might be a setback was actually moving you a step closer to Him?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.