Good morning Saint. I just want to appreciate that you made time today to end the week in God’s presence, because as the saying goes, “Church is Monday to Saturday, Sunday is garage time” , something that fits in very well with today’s theme. So you are certainly welcome to this special Sunday (Palm Sunday), which ushers us into the Holy Week.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the traditional Israelite mount of a king, a sure – footed donkey, He caused a great stir among those who were familiar with Zechariah’s prophecy (Matt. 21:1-11). The crowds immediately identified Jesus as the Messiah who would rescue them from their troubles (Zech. 9:16). And that’s exactly what happened – but not as they expected. The real rescue as promised by Prophet Zechariah continues even today, with Jesus ruling and reigning from heaven, overseeing the salvation of His people (Rev. 7:10), and the utter defeat of His enemies (Rev. 19:1-3). So we don’t have to grow weary waiting for God’s complete victory. We don’t have to put our hope in political victories as the key to advancing the Kingdom of God, as those in Jesus’ time did. Instead, we should put our trust in our King and the spiritual weapons He has ordained to accomplish His victory (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:12).
The two disciples’ obedience in what seems to be a gray area, is noteworthy. This little episode in the life of Jesus (Matt. 21:2,3), reminds us that we must follow Jesus’ instructions – even those that may seem counter intuitive at first (Matt. 20:16; Rev. 22:33). We do not know exactly what God is trying to accomplish when He asks us to do things that often seem difficult. But be sure that your obedience will do more in this world than you can ever imagine, and it will lay up great rewards in the next (Jer. 17:10; Heb. 11:6).
Matthew mentions a donkey and a colt, while the other Gospels mention only the colt. This was the same event, but Matthew focuses on the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, where a donkey and a colt are mentioned. He shows how Jesus’ actions fulfilled the prophet’s words, thus giving indication that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, He affirmed His royalty as well as His humility. Matt. 21:8 is one of the few places where the Gospels record that Jesus’ glory is recognized on earth. Jesus boldly declared himself King, and the crowd gladly joined him. Unfortunately, these same people would bow to political pressure and desert him in just a few days. Today as we celebrate this event, it should be a reminder to us to guard against superficial acclaim for Christ.
“Uproar,” The word Matthew used to describe the effect of Jesus’ arrival on the city, conveys the idea of being shaken, as if by an earthquake. Jesus’ shaking of Jerusalem foreshadowed the violent method He would use to teach God’s desire that the Temple would be a place of holy worship, not heartless commerce. Happy Easter!
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana