Mark: According to
The Triumphal Entry
The event in which Mark begins chapter 11 marks the beginning of the final week of Christ’s life. When the sun sets at the end of the sixth day of the week, Jesus will have been laid in a borrowed tomb. As He did at the end of Creation week, Christ rested on the Sabbath day, only this time in a tomb. Of the three and a half years Christ spent in ministry, we know more about the last week than any other part of His ministry.
Mark does not follow the exact chronological timeline as he tells the events that took place on that final week. Mark 14:3-11 actually took place the night before the triumphal entry.
We might ask the question, “Why did the gospel writers not always put the events in chronological order?” Their order of events and the stories they included depends on the message or the point they were attempting to make.
“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples: 2 And he said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a cold tied on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. 3 And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Say, ”the Lord has need of it,” and immediately he will send it here.’” 4 So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it.
Truth be told, this seems like a strange request, for no where else in scripture does it say that Jesus road on an animal. So why the change, why the sudden need to ride a colt (Donkey).
Let’s quickly look at what these four texts present. Jesus drew near to Jerusalem and the following things happened.
- Jesus called two disciples to go into the city
- They were to find a colt (Young Donkey)
- This Donkey could not have been ridden before
- Note where the Donkey was tethered at
Many houses of this time were constructed in the shape of a square with an open courtyard in the center. From this courtyard a passage way led out to the street. Ordinarily, the donkey or colt would have been tethered in the courtyard rather than at the gate in the open street, but in this case, this donkey that had never been ridden was tethered outside the gate or entrance to the court yard.
Jesus was following the Jewish custom for a royal entry. The animal on which He rode was that ridden by the kings of Israel, and prophecy had foretold that the Messiah, their King should come to His kingdom. No sooner was He seated upon the Colt than a loud shout of triumph rent the air.
The disciples and the multitude with Jesus new full well what this meant. In their mind this meant that Jesus was declaring himself king, ready to be seated upon the throne of David.
The disciples were amazed, for the first time Jesus accepted the homage that the crowd paid upon him. In their minds eye the people saw the Roman Armies driven from Jerusalem, and once More Israel to be the greatest nation on earth.
The people were unable to shower Jesus with gifts so they laid their garments before the Donkey making way for their King and Ruler.
As they neared Jerusalem the crowd grew even louder and still louder as the people shouted their praise and honor.
What a contrast to the events that would soon take place just a few days from now when Jesus would be led through the streets chained in roped, being led to His trial and then to the place of execution.
But for the time being, their shouts of joy became so deafening that the priests and rulers feared the Romans would believe the Jews were having another uprising. It was just a few days earlier that three men led an insurrection against the government. Pilot had summonsed his soldiers and they have killed many upon the steps of the temple.
Some believe that as Jesus came to cleanse the temple for the second time, he had stepped over steps stained by the blood of those who had been killed during this insurrection.
The purpose of the triumphal entry was not to set Jesus up as an earthly king, but instead bring into the minds of all who saw and heard about the event the importance of Jesus. After His crucifixion, many would recall these events in their connection with His trial and death. They would be led to search the prophecies, and would be convinced that Jesus was the Messiah; and in all lands converts to the faith would be multiplied.
But as triumphant as the entry was, as Jesus tops the Mount of Olives he suddenly burst into tears. The Greek word used implied that his body convulsed as the tears poor down his cheeks.
Oh, how God and Jesus had long for the children of Israel to surrender their hearts and do the will of God. How all heaven longed for Israel to follow the laws and statues that would have set them apart from all other nations and made them a blessing to others and not a curse.
But as Jesus crested the top of the Mount of Olives, he looked upon the city and the beautiful temple and foresaw the destruction that would take place in the year 70 CE (AD). This destruction and hardship that was to come upon the Jews could all have been avoided if they would have only followed Jesus.
My friends. There is another triumphal entry coming in what I believe to be the not to distant future. The Bible that I read and study tells me of a King that is coming again. This same Jesus who road upon a Donkey and cried for the city because it was lost is coming again, this time in clouds of glory to take his followers to heaven. How great and glorious a day this will be, but as grand as it is, I can almost imagine Jesus weeping on that day because of all those, like the Jews of old, that rejected Jesus choosing not to follow him.
Jesus fulfilled prophecy when He road the Donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus will again fulfil prophecy when he comes back in to clouds of glory to bring His faithful followers to heaven.
But we all have a choice to make. Like the Israelites of old, Jesus is asking us to forsake all and follow Him. Jesus has shown us and taught us that nothing on this earth can be more important than establishing a relationship with God and following His statutes. We are saved by grace through faith in that saving grace, but it is following the will of God that shows our true love for him.