The crowds roared as Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Both David and Solomon had ridden a mule when they had come to take the crown. Now, during this last week of His life, He came into Jerusalem, carried by a donkey’s colt. Thousands of people pressed against each other along the way. Hurriedly, men scattered their coats on the ground in front of the colt as Jesus pressed on through the crowd. The implications of this entrance were obvious. The masses had been helped by His serving, healing hands, and now he had arrived back in Jerusalem, as it seemed, to be king.
He was the Son of David. He was the Messiah. He would be the new king. In their minds, He would overthrow the Roman oppressors. He was about to set up a new kingdom, with Him at its head. They would be His people, and He would be their Savior. The day had come, and as He passed by them they screamed “Hosanna! Hosanna!! Hosanna!!” a Hebrew word meaning, “Save Us!! Rescue Us!!” They wanted Him to liberate them, and He would, just not the way they wanted Him to.
You see, this great, fake-coronation day ended. He eventually got off the colt, and walked back to the town of Bethany a couple miles outside of Jerusalem. He never took a throne. He never set up a kingdom. This was not the day that He would save the world. It was the day that He fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, “shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” He had come, and they wanted the salvation that the Messiah was supposed to bring. But they did not find it that day, so they returned home, heads hung low with disappointment. Some Messiah He turned out to be.
Jesus had not become what they had wanted Him to be. They had a very specific expectation for Jesus to fulfill, but He had fallen far short of that. In less than a week, they would be ready to shout “Crucify!!” at this same one who had dashed their hopes on this day. Little would they know that through His crucifixion He would become the Savior that they had been looking for on this disappointing day.
Jesus did not come to simply save mankind from the oppression of physical enemies. He came to liberate us from the darker, greater, spiritual foes. He came to liberate us from the power of Satan and sin. He came to offer freedom to the slaves of sin. He came to “offer His life a ransom” for all those who would believe in Him. He came to bring hope to the hopeless, and life to the lifeless. Their request of “Hosanna!” would be fulfilled by the end of the week, just not the way they suspected. More importantly, He was going to accomplish the “Hosanna!” work for any who would come in faith to Him.
Food For Thought: Read Genesis 22:1-14. What type of animal did Abraham and Isaac ride to the place where Isaac was to be sacrificed? How do you think this relates to what God was doing with Jesus?