‘The Lord has need of us
Mark 11:1-10: The public entry of Christ shows He was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies in Jerusalem. He came publicly and cheerfully. He rode upon a donkey–a borrowed donkey. Most things in the Lord’s life were borrowed. Christ went upon the water in a borrowed boat, ate the Passover in a borrowed chamber, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and here, rode in on a borrowed donkey. He showed His dominion over the will of men when He sent His disciples for the colt. He showed His dominion over the creatures that had never been ridden.
The road to Jerusalem was typically taken during the Jewish celebration of the Passover where the Jewish people celebrated their deliverance from the slavery of Egypt. Specifically the Passover tells of God’s deliverance and protection of the Jewish people from the tenth and final plague He inflicted on Egypt where the firstborn of each family and livestock were killed. To avoid this the Jewish people were to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of the lamb. Upon seeing this, the Spirit of God would pass over. Exodus 12:14. Hence, the term Passover.
It is no coincidence Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead over the Passover holy day. Jesus, the ultimate Lamb, was crucified.
So our King came on Palm Sunday. He is victorious, yet not by force or power play or brute strength He rode in on a donkey; humble, peaceful.
His disciples didn’t understand this was fulfillment of prophecy told in Zechariah. They didn’t understand yet what was going on. They hadn’t experienced the cross.
Jesus can only be understood in the context of the cross. He is more than a nice guy, more than a social activist. If we don’t have the cross and Jesus at the forefront, then we also would be like the disciples at that time: not fully understanding.
John 12:16: At first His disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
Five hundred years before Christ came to earth, Zechariah 9:9 says: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The picture from the Bible is one of enthusiastic people who line up on streets throwing flowers and spreading their cloaks on a road as a carpet, and welcoming Jesus. And, following the traditional method of welcoming kings, they cut palm branches and waved them in the air.
Shouts of ‘Hosanna, Hosanna’, can mean one of two things: ‘Praise the Lord’, or it can also mean ‘The One Who Saves’. Those shouts quickly turned into ‘crucify Him, crucify Him’. John 19: 14-16.
I Corinthians 6:20: You were bought at a price.
On Palm Sunday everyone was cheering Jesus but they all had agendas for Him. Hosanna Jesus, come and take care of me. Come and overthrow the government. Come on in and take back the temple. Come on in and rearrange the circumstances of my life. Of course, the way I want it to be. We all shout ‘Hosanna’, but remember, Jesus, you are only Lord as long as it is my way.
Before the Hosannas, Jesus came in on a donkey. What a different story we would see if the unnamed owners of the donkey had refused to give it to the disciples. No matter how unknown a person is, they can still play a major role in God’s plan. The Lord needs each one of us. We are not told who the owners are, but they knew the Lord needed it and that was good enough for them. Otherwise, we would expect them to answer: ‘Who is the Lord? Let Him get His own donkey’.
A donkey was a very important thing back then. It was used as a car, a truck and a tractor all in one. It was a car because people used it to move around and do their shopping. A truck because it was used to carry a load, and a tractor because it was used to plow fields. Add to this the fact the donkey had never been ridden. That means it is brand new and a big sacrifice.
We all have a donkey. Something in our lives that if we gave it to the Lord would further the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has need of it. If God can take a donkey that has never been ridden and control that animal in a crowd, a loud crowd, then He can take things in my life that I can’t control and help me. But I have to let Him. We too can sing ‘Hosanna’ and lay down the palm branches and everything else at his feet.
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