As we begin The Redeemer Series, we will look at the life lessons of the last week of Jesus’ life. This four part series will focus on applying the message to your life today. We begin this series with Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem.
The Triumphal Entry
Jesus and the Disciples were near Jerusalem in a town called Bethpage. He told two of the Disciples to go ahead of Him and to get a donkey. Jesus told them exactly where the donkey would be and what to say if anyone questioned why they were taking it.
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”Matthew 21:1-3
Jesus knew that God would provide this donkey and where it would be. And He instructed the two Disciples on exactly what to do.
Triumphal Entry – A Great Prophecy
Jesus knew the things that would be happening in the coming days would be fulfilling prophecies from the old scriptures. This day was no exception.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!Zechariah 9:9
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
During these times, kings would often enter a city on the back of a donkey because the donkey was a symbol of peace. So, to enter a city while riding a donkey was in essence saying that they are entering in peace.
Entering the City as a King
As Jesus and the Disciples approached the city, many put their cloaks on the path and others cut branches from the palms to pave the pathway for Jesus. Then they began to shout, “Hosanna!” as He passed by. By the time they reached Jerusalem, the city was in a great stir.
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”Matthew 21:9-11
When the crowds shouted, “Hosanna”, they are proclaiming Him as Christ the King. But even in all of the rejoicing and praise, Jesus wept for the city because He knew that they would not praise Him for long. Jesus knew that His triumphal entry would lead to His death, he knew what was coming.
Cleansing of the Temple
After the triumphal entry, Jesus entered the Temple and drove away all of the people that were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and declared that the Temple should be a house of prayer.
I am sure that this drew the attention of the Chief Priests. Jesus went even further and healed the sick in the Temple. As the Priests watched these wondrous things, they heard the people declare that this is the Son of David and they were angered by these proclamations.
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.Matthew 21:14-15
Jesus left the Temple and spent the night in Bethany.
It might be hard to see how to apply this story to your life today. We no longer ride donkeys into cities to proclaim our intentions. You might even think that there is not a clear and concise life lesson to be found. But I think there are several ways to take this text and apply it to our lives today.
1. Enter in Peace
Jesus is entering the city displaying signs of peace even though He knows it will not change the outcome. He did not allow the actions of other people dictate His actions toward them. Jesus wants us to go through our lives in a peaceful way in spite of what others do to us.
2. Do Not Take the Praise of Man Seriously
Okay, I understand that this one comes with some hindsight applied but it is still a great lesson. As Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city was happening, Jesus wept. He cried because He knew that the praise of the people would turn in just a few short days.
Be careful where you accept praise from and be careful of the friends you make. The praise of man is fleeting and can change very quickly.
3. Stand Against Ungodly Things
When Jesus entered the Temple, He could have just walked by all of the ungodly things that were going on. Instead, He cleansed the Temple of the ungodly and proclaimed the Temple as a place of prayer. Jesus’ anger brought Him attention from the Priests.
The lesson here is to stand up against the ungodly things of this world. Jesus wants us to stand against the things of the world in spite of the consequences.
Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem is a story of a King entering a city in peace, cleansing the Temple from the ungodly and healing the sick. It is also a story of how He angered the Priests in the Temple. During this triumphal entry, Jesus was proclaimed as King by the Jewish people.
In the next part of The Redeemer Series, we will enter the celebration of Passover with Jesus and the Disciples.
The Redeemer Devotion Series