“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” (Zechariah 9:9, New King James Version).
“And they brought him to Jesus; and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way . . . the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:35-38).
Today is Palm Sunday which commemorates the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. So much was pressed into that short space of time—the cleansing of the temple, His anointing from the broken alabaster box, Judas going to the chief priests, the final Passover meal with his disciples, His prayer in Gethsemane, His betrayal and arrest.
Jesus went from a kingly welcome to crucifixion as a common criminal in just a matter of days. No doubt many of those shouting Hosanna as He rode into Jerusalem on the donkey were also there at Pilate’s judgment hall crying, “Crucify him!” He went from being hailed by the multitudes to being forsaken by even His closest companions.
Writers of the four Gospels describe the events of that momentous week and allow us to view how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.
“But all this was done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56).
This week, before we rejoice next Sunday at the Lord’s resurrection, let us take time to walk the streets of Jerusalem with Him during His final days. Listen to the crowds. Follow Judas as he negotiates the betrayal. Watch as Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and listen as He prays in Gethsemane. As we follow His steps through the Gospels, let us seek for a greater understanding of the agony He endured to pardon our sins. Every step He took that fateful week was for you and me. His love for us compelled Him to offer Himself at Calvary.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).
(Suggested readings: Isaiah 53; Matthew 21-28; Mark 11-16; Luke 22-24; John 12-21.)
Prayer: Lord, help me to never forget the price that You paid for my redemption. Thank You for the love You felt for me that day. It held You to the cross.. I am forever grateful for that love.