Matthew 21:1-16 — the triumphal entry of the King as a Servant
This expression clicked for me: “in the highest.”
Such a familiar ring… Could it be…? I looked it up. Sure enough!
There were multiple multitudes on two vastly different occasions which exuberantly shouted their acclaim for the long-awaited King:
- “Glory to God in the highest!”
- “Hosanna in the highest!”
Here, listen to the first group:
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13,14).
Angels and humans proclaiming Jesus — for some reason, I am blessed by that.
Too bad that for most of them in the second group it fizzled out in a week or so, turning into murderous rejection.
By God’s grace, my own praise shall grow. That is my commitment.
(Excerpted and adapted from what I wrote on January 28: Hosanna in the Highest!)
Triumphal Entry…on a Donkey?!
For some three years the disciples and other followers of Jesus had awaited this day. Now it had arrived! Jesus would at last take His rightful place as King of a reinvigorated Israel. The Lord finally had quit trying to hide His Kingship. The time of His revelation had arrived with high drama. Jesus was using a donkey to fulfill a most wonderful prophecy.
Exciting? Exhilarating and electrifying were more like it! What a thrill to recite Zechariah 9:9 with the multitude that day. No wonder they shouted, “Hosanna!”
But in the midst of the merry making, they missed a significant point. The beast Jesus rode wasn’t even His in the immediate sense of the word. A King riding a borrowed donkey?! That should have been an alarming warning to the throngs that this just wasn’t going to pan out as they anticipated. Alas, they were too consumed with the joy and expectations of the moment to realize that God does not necessarily fit into our plans and schedules.
(Excerpted and adapted from the 2010 version of the Sunday School lesson: The King as a Servant)
Before the Triumphal Entry, an Urgent Need
“The Lord hath need of him.” Upon hearing those words, a certain man long ago immediately released his colt into the care of the disciples. His plans for the colt no longer mattered; in fact, quite likely his ownership of the colt was not a primary concern of his anymore. The important thing was that “the Lord hath need of him.”
“The Lord hath need of him.” Would such a statement be sufficient to pry loose my stuff from me? I like to think so. And I imagine you feel the same way. But again, it is not the words nor the thoughts nor the feelings that count here so much as the life. I am challenged again to release to the Master’s use all that belongs to me.
Now think about this:“Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” These were the cries of the crowd as they witnessed Jesus using that man’s property. I believe that yielding our stuff to the Lord’s use will always bring praise and exaltation to the Lord.
Stuff, time, rights, skills — can you really believe that“the Lord hath need” of yours?!
(Excerpted and adapted from Jesus Enters Jerusalem)
Additional Reading about Triumphal Entry Before Slaughter
CLP title: The King as a Servant