7th June 2023
Read - Mark 11:7-
Message Alan Burke
You may have seen photos or scenes of people celebrating the triumphal entry. If you have you’ll likely have seen the palm branches being waved about by crowds almost like a big Mexican wave of palm branches in the air but it didn’t quite happen like that. If you read what goes on here in Mark’s gsople on that day when Jesus went into Jerusalem ridging on the colt we get a very different picture, they were laying them on the ground before Jesus. This is significant but we will think of it in a moment or two.
In Mark’s account of the triumphal entry he is very specific about the details and in a sense they may seem neither here nor there. Firstly when the colt is brought to Jesus they which infers the disciples, they put their cloaks over the colt. Now this would have acted as a makeshift saddle. The colt also would have brought to mind when David proclaimed Solomon to be his heir as he had him ride into the city on a donkey (1 Kings 1:33,38,44). The colt itself was unridden and just like an unridden horse, they have to be broken before they can be used but here Jesus gets on the horse and rides it into Jerusalem. The pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem laid their cloaks on the road and others cut branches down and laid them before him. The palm branches which were symbols of the Jewish nation, and Jewish victories. The people here in what they are doing are acknowledging Jesus claim to be the Messiah as he rides on the donkey, Jesus was being welcomed as their king.
For there is a parallel that we might miss at first glance to what has happened before in the history of the people of God. To find it you need to go back to 2 Kings to learn about Jehu. In short Jehu was the successor of king Ahab who had led the people of God into idolatrous worship, God’s judgement came upon Ahab and after God chose Jehu to be king. While he was king he had became king reluctantly, yet he was used by God and was instrumental in bringing transformation, he was obedient to the word of God no matter what the cost. When Jehu was made king the people placed their cloaks before him in submission, he walked over the cloaks of his people and the people cried out Jehu is king. Jesus the great king was likewise welcomed, he fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah and the parallel of what is taking place between Jehu and Jesus is revealing more of who Jesus was and is.
Just as Jehu was a man who submitted to the word of God no matter what the cost, Jesus the word incarnate had come to submit himself, and while the people were not in truth submitting to him we are reminded here of the necessity for all of us to submit to him.
With the crowds around, they shouted;
“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!”
The crowds were responding to what they had heard and saw as Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the colt, they were responding to the claims that he was making. But notice here their cry in verse ten, where they said “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!””
Those words though, don’t quiet make senses. For it seems that while they were welcoming Jesus, responding to what they had heard and were seeing with their eyes, the man Jesus riding the colt, they had not understood, they were looking to the kingdom of their father David, but they should have been looking for King David’s greater son, David’s Lord as Ps 110 speaks of. In all that was taking place it was revealing who Jesus was and is, how he came to lay down his life for the sin of his people, everything that was being pointed to was how he had come as a servant to die in our stead, this is the Jesus we worship, this is the Jesus who is the saviour, this is the Jesus whom we must put our hope and trust in.
Q66 What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, is a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’ s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment. (Deut. 5:16, Eph. 6:2–3)