March 8, 2020

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ



Amid shouts of praise and the waving of palm branches, Jesus triumphantly entered into the city of Jerusalem. This event marked the beginning of the most significant week in human history. Understanding the historical setting of this singular event can teach us of the ultimate mission of the Savior as the Lamb of God and the true King of kings!

To better understand the importance of the triumphal entry, it is helpful to first understand its correlation to the feast of Passover or Pesach. Passover was the first of three major Jewish feasts celebrated each year. The feast was to commemorate the deliverance of ancient Israel from bondage in Egypt. According to Exodus 12, the Lord commanded Israel to select a lamb without blemish on the 10th day of the first month. Once selected, the lamb was then brought into their homes to live with the family for the next four days. On the eve before the start of the fifteenth day, they were then to kill the lamb, smear the blood on the doorposts, and share together the Passover feast. If they did this, the Lord promised that the destroying angel would pass by them and spare the firstborn of the home.

Blood being placed on the doorpost for Passover
Every year afterward, Israel celebrated Passover to remember this great deliverance from bondage. In addition, the Jews at the time of Jesus were looking forward to a coming Messiah who would hopefully likewise during Passover deliver them from their Roman oppressors. With this background in mind, let’s study the events of the triumphal entry.

Shortly before Passover, the Savior began his last mortal journey to Jerusalem. Like Jesus, hundreds of thousands of Jews were also arriving to celebrate the Feast. With the city swelling beyond capacity, many would have camped on the Mount of Olives and surrounding areas. Jesus chose to stay in nearby Bethany with the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus whom he had just raised from the dead. News of this remarkable miracle spread like wildfire. The promised Messiah had come! As the Savior and his disciples climbed over the Mount of Olives with the Temple glistening in the morning sun, the people cut branches from palm trees, waving them excitedly, and laid their garments on the ground to cover His path.

The significance of the timing is unmistakable. According to the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the day Jesus entered was the tenth day of the month, five days before Passover. This would mean that on the very same day that the Jews were selecting their Passover lambs, Jesus, the true Lamb of God, rode into Jerusalem and was symbolically chosen by the people. Also, just as the lambs would be brought into the homes of the people to stay for the next four days, so too Jesus came into his Father’s house, the temple, and taught for the next four days before his death.

This act of worship by the Jews during the Triumphal Entry fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah which stated: “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” (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV). Sadly, as the week progressed, the Jews saw that Jesus did not come as the conquering Messiah they had hoped for. They realized that Jesus would not bring them the political deliverance they so desired. Yet they did not understand the true deliverance He would bring through His atonement and death. Only five days later, some of this same crowd who had previously shouted praises at his arrival, would now shout for the death of the Lamb of God.

Often, we are faced with the same question as these Jews in Jerusalem. What type of Messiah are we hoping for? One who will immediately free us from all our challenges and trials? Or are we humble enough to trust in the Lord’s timing for redemption?

In essence, we all have our own personal exodus story. A story where we are in spiritual bondage and can be released only by the blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. We each have the opportunity daily to select Jesus Christ as our Lamb of God and allow him into our homes. When we lay down our all before him as the Jews laid down their garments shouting Hosanna, we chose to accept the Savior, seeing Him for who He really is. Only then can we, like ancient Israel, be spared from the destroying angel of death and sin, and enter into the Promised Land because of the triumphal entry, death, and resurrection of the Lamb of God!

7 comments:

  1. This was wonderful! Easy to understand, accurate & well done. I learned some new things! Thank you!

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    1. Aimee, you are welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. Wow! This was so great! Easy enough for kids to understand but complex enough to encourage great discussion. Thank you!!

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    1. Jill, glad you enjoyed it! And so happy to hear that the video is simple enough for kids, but still engaging for adults. That is always my goal when I produce a video.

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