Can you picture Jesus sitting on the donkey as he descends the Mount of Olives? His disciples have put their clothes on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. Others throw their garments and palm branches on the ground before him. Excitement stirs the air as the crowd surrounds him, eager to declare Jesus their king, shouting “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.” Mark 11:9-10.
Excitement escalates as they descend the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem. Israel has been under Roman rule for years, and the people are eager to make Jesus their king. They have seen the miracles he performed over the last three years. They praise God loudly, saying, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” Luke 19:38.
How surprised they are when Jesus stops the donkey and starts weeping. Letting his eyes sweep over this beloved city, tears stream over his cheeks as he bemoans the fact that the people don’t recognize who he truly is. He weeps as he foretells the devastation that will come upon the city, because they are too blind to realize Jesus is the Son of God. (Luke 19:41-44).
The Pharisees had already asked Jesus to quiet the crowd. They didn’t like the uproar, maybe afraid that the Romans would see it as an uprising, or maybe just because it was out of their control. They were concerned about public appearance. Blinded by their traditions and self-righteousness, they had no idea they were looking upon the Son of God! They completely missed their opportunity!
Jesus speaks with authority when he tells the Pharisees that if the crowd would be silent, the stones would cry out. Nature itself would break out in praise – yet the religious leaders missed their moment.
I often wonder how we, the church, would have responded had we lived during that time – keeping in mind that the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out on the believers. Yes, they had the Books of Moses and the Prophets, but Jesus was different than what they expected their Messiah would be. The Law of Moses had many rules, and the Pharisees had added many of their own. They were self-righteous.
Today we need to ensure we are grounded in God’s Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to remove the blinders from our eyes.
Until next time.