Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once."
(Only John mentions that they were palm branches. John 12:13)
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”
As he was drawing near-already on the way down the Mount of Olives-the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying,
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
He answered, I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
But who could blame them for missing the point, caught up as they were in the wild and joyful chaos of this moment. They were riding the wave of a new kingdom ruled by a man who loved each one of them and rode a humble donkey. It was more than they had ever imagined could happen.
And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying,
“Who is this?”
And the crowds said,
“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
I think he smiled that day as they surrounded him with palms and praise, but I think if we could have looked into his eyes, we would have seen pools of deep grief, overflowing down his cheeks from his broken heart.
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying,
"Would that you, even you, had known this day the things that make for peace.
But now they are hidden from your eyes.
For the days will come when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you
and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground,
you and your children within you.
And they will not leave one stone upon another in you,
because you did not know the time of your visitation."
who knew more than He could say,
who carried in his heart deep love for those who were as sheep without a shepherd,
who saw clearly what was coming soon - his own deep suffering and the destruction of this city he had come to love.
Look into that face and realize he knew. He knew. And still he chose to move forward on a journey that was leading to his own demise. It was Sunday, but Friday was coming.
What do you see in that face? I see kind eyes and a gentle smile, and behind them, a steely, unwavering resolve to finish the work of love that he had begun. For every lost sheep. For me. For you.
This is the untarnished legacy of the man who rode the donkey.
I want to follow him.