Luke 19:30-31- “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”
Palm Sunday, for centuries, has been considered by the church world, the beginning of Holy Week. Since “Holy Week” is predominantly a Catholic term, it’s not a phrase that I heard until I was a little older in life and the faith. However, having said that, many Christians the world over, celebrate Palm Sunday, as a precursor to the observance of Easter Sunday.
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is told in every gospel, just as the crucifixion is. Today, I would like to just point out some things that are interesting about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that we celebrate on Palm Sunday.
Jesus, knowing that the Jewish authorities had plans to kill Him, knowing that His hour had come, did not go into Jerusalem through the back door. He made a grand entrance. Every student of the word knows that He was fulfilling Bible prophecy, but still He showed great strength and courage.
Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus instructs two of His disciples to go into the village and get a donkey. Either He was operating in a word of knowledge, or He had a dream, or God just led Him by His Spirit, for He was able to tell them that the colt would be tied to the post and that it had never been ridden. He goes on to say that if anyone was to ask why they were loosing the colt that they were to respond that the Lord has need of it.
How did the owners know? Quite possibly through a dream. The only important detail for me, is that the owners did know and that they were glad to release the colt to the disciples for Jesus’ use.
The disciples place their garments on the colt, like one would place a saddle, and then they placed Jesus on the donkey. We know from reading the Bible, that Jesus was quite the walker, He and His disciples. But there’s something different about going to Jerusalem this time. Not only is Jesus riding a colt, but as He enters the city, people begin throwing their garments on the road, creating a “red carpet” effect for the donkey to walk on. They also begin throwing branches, (John’s gospel say they are palm branches) on the ground, all while rejoicing and praising God for His mighty works. (Quite possibly they have heard of the raising of Lazarus from the dead).
Zechariah 9:9- “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This could have easily been one of those situations where Jesus said that the scriptures were being fulfilled, for it happened just as Zechariah prophesied.
Just some things to note: Kings usually rode on horses, but this King came on a colt, signifying that He is the Prince of peace and is not coming as a warrior. As He enters into the city in this prophetic manner, the citizens began to rejoice that they could now welcome Him as Messiah, as King. In Matthew and Mark, the crowd is noted as saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” But, in Luke and John’s gospels they add King. Whether they shouted it or not, their actions of throwing the garments down and throwing the branches down were actions acknowledging Him as King.
Why palm branches? Palm branches were symbolic of a victory and of a king. In tossing palm branches before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem, they were acknowledging Him as their victorious King! He had come! The Messiah was here!
They were also shouting Hosanna. We use it as a term of worship or praise, but it’s literal meaning is “save now”. It’s interesting to me, that this crowd was “caught up” in the Spirit and didn’t even know it. They were fulfilling or participating in the fulfillment of prophecy and yet they missed the very event they proclaimed. Their King had come!
I want to return to my verse. Jesus was in need of the colt to fulfill His entry into Jerusalem. My thought today is “what do I have that Jesus is in need of to fulfill His kingdom plans today?” I know the things that I am willing to give to Him, but is there something that He is asking me for that I have not “loosed” into His capable hands of yet? I sincerely hope not!
Jesus simply rode the colt of the owners, but once He reached His destination, He was finished with the colt. And yet, the colt was a vital part of the prophesy. What He is asking you for may seem insignificant from your lens and from mine, but this got me to thinking that from His perspective, it is needed and it is not insignificant.
In today’s culture, people would have been fighting over that colt, offering thousands of dollars to the owners for the colt; just so they could say they owned the colt that carried Jesus. There’s no telling what benefits the owners received from having given the colt to Jesus that day. What we can be sure of is that when Jesus asks us for anything, it is not to bring loss into our lives, but to bring increase!
What do you have that the Lord has need of? It could be your talents, your money, your home, your life, your all. What ever it is, if you give it to Him, you will be the better for doing so! Just loose it and trust it to the King! Wonderful Jesus!