Jesus arrives at Bethany, near Jerusalem, the Friday afternoon just before the Sunday of His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Many common people, learning of His Presence, came to see Him. They also came to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. It was yet six days before Passover.
We are reading in John 11:55-12:1, 9-19; Mark 11:1-11; Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:29-44. Back in Jerusalem, people from the area arrived for Passover, and many were uneasy if Jesus would come to the festival. Jesus came back to Bethany, to which Jesus came around. A crowd gathered, mainly the curious ones; however, some were sincere believers. The Jewish leaders thought His raising of Lazarus would attract attention to Jesus, and they were right. Therefore, they wanted to kill Him even more, as well as kill Lazarus.
The Triumphal Entry
The time has arrived for Jesus to challenge His opponents by posting a clear demonstration that He was indeed the Messiah that has come from God. The Jewish leaders desired to arrest Him, but when they were told where He was, they feared in taking any action, as they were unsure of His support He had around. To make sure nothing stopped Him from making His bold entry into Jerusalem, Jesus made a secret arrangement with a few unknown villages to provide a donkey, and have a “passphrase” so that two of His Disciples would pick up the donkey and bring it to Jesus.
As the Messiah, Jesus entered into Zion not on a horse but on a donkey as the King of Peace. He did not come as the conqueror, but as the Peaceful One. People in Jerusalem during the Passover welcomed Him as the Messiah and were enthusiastic He had come. Many shouted “Hosanna.”
Soon, the Pharisees would be annoyed at the welcome that He received, and therefore tried to persuade the people to silence, which did not work. As the news of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus had spread, many more people flocked to see Him, which is what the Pharisees had feared the most.
Jesus, then, was not deceived by such welcome, because He knew that when people would understand His Messiahship fully, they would just turn on Him. The nation overall would reject Him. The problem with rejecting God, is that Jerusalem would be destroyed in judgment. With Jesus entering Jerusalem, it was not a political thing, but a spiritual thing; therefore, He did not visit the palace, but the Temple He did visit. He noted what happened there, and went with His Disciples to stay in Bethany for the night.
What can we learn from this?
Jesus showed that He was not afraid by coming into Jerusalem boldly on a donkey. A donkey is a humble animal. When He entered, people were so full of joy. We must realize that we need to not be afraid as well of going into potentially dangerous places, because we can hope in Christ’s protection that will provide for us the assurance of His Presence. We may very well be shocked upon arrival that many people receive us, and may be able to improve our mindset and faithfulness in His Divine protection, as we are doing what He has called us to do.