Luke 19:30-31 – Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, "Why are you untying it?" tell him, "The Lord needs it." (NIV)
Jesus came into Jerusalem in the most public way imaginable. If He had come riding a horse, He would be sending the message that He was a man of conquest and war. His victory is of a different nature altogether! Up to this time, Jesus had discouraged people from publicly celebrating Him as the Messiah, but now, He plans to invite adoration and praise.
The disciples praised Him with simple things: palm branches and cloaks. Their praise was based on fresh remembrances of the resurrection of Lazarus and other amazing miracles, not a memorized script repeated without feeling or impact. They were really worshipping, hearts and minds on Him. Jesus does not need praise for His own sake or for His self-esteem, but we need to praise Him because He is worthy of it! Even if we have no great voice or grand gift, we give it to Him and praise Him with it.
If anyone really understood the impact of Jesus' actions that day, it was the Pharisees and religious leaders, who dogged His steps and challenged Him. They were right there, in the suburbs, not waiting until He got into Jerusalem! The prophecy of Zechariah 9 about the King riding the foal of a donkey, was known to them. They knew that the Messianic prophecies were being called on, and they demanded Him to silence the praising crowd. "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40 NIV)
The jubilant crowd hoped that Jesus would launch a revolution against the Roman occupiers. They wanted a mighty prophet of old! Jesus, however, came on His own terms, not theirs. The King arriving in triumph would a week later be beaten and crucified, deserted by all His followers. The people wanted to be freed from oppression, but weren't prepared for the real kingdom of God, the inward change of heart. They loved to see the miracles, but rejected any kind of personal commitment to God.
The disciples themselves didn't fully understand the significance of the moment! Even at the Last Supper, they argued as to who would be the greatest among themselves. It was only after the resurrection that they understood that the triumphant King would conquer through serving, loving, and laying down His own life to save all those who would believe in Him.
As we consider what this means, may the words, "The Lord needs it", stir us to come to Jesus on His terms, not on our own.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, we praise You like the disciples did when You entered Jerusalem as the Messiah and Saviour of the world. May we follow You in serving and loving others. Amen!
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Listen while you read: "Hosanna Loud Hosanna" (Lyrics)