Jesus enters Jerusalem


The Triumphal Entry

John 12:12The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna![c]”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[d]

“Blessed is the King of Israel!” 14Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,

15″Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;

see, your king is coming,

seated on a donkey’s colt.”[e]

16At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

17Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

Have you ever been in the crowd when the President of the United States was speaking?  When I was twelve years old President John F. Kennedy came to Arkansas to dedicate Greers Ferry Dam.  He addressed the crowd on October 3, 1963, and later that day spoke at the State Fair and Livestock Show. My aunt checked my sister and me out of school so that we could be in the crowd.

I wonder how many twelve year olds were in the crowd that day when Jesus entered triumphantly to the sound of hosannas and the waving of palm branches?  Did they realize the import of what was happening?  Did they feel the electricity in the crowd?  Did they know how that week would end?

It is important to remember that those crying “hosanna” were not the same people who one week later would be spitting upon Jesus as he went from court to court so that the authorities could legally put Him to death.  And it is equally important to see that Jesus was fulfilling a prophecy from Zechariah as he rode into town.  After all, most of the travel in Jesus’ day was on foot, so the fact that He arrived in Jerusalem on the back of a donkey was unusual for Him.  And, a donkey was an animal of submission, a work animal, rather than a powerful steed which could have reinforced His followers’ belief that Jesus was a conquering King come to set the Israelites free from Roman rule.

Jesus, of course, was in Jerusalem to set His people free, but not from the bondage which they wanted to escape.  Instead, He was there to set them, and all people, free from the bondage of sin.

Have you been set free from the bondage of sin, or are you still waiting for someone to free you from debt or some other obsession?  The same Jesus who entered Jerusalem 2000 years ago is waiting to make a triumphant entry into your heart.  Open your heart’s door and let the King of Kings make His home within you.

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