Everything God does is intentional. If you have trouble believing that, consider Jesus: everywhere He went, every miracle He performed, and every word He said was intentional. Jesus lived on this earth with the singular focus of fulfilling the Father’s plan to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). With that in mind, we turn our attention to Jesus’ final entrance into Jerusalem and learn how it was intentionally different than all the others.
- Jesus’ Entrance. With the exception of a few boat trips across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus walked everywhere. But for His final entrance into Jerusalem, Jesus intentionally chose to ride on a donkey. He told two disciples to “find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it” (Mark 11:2). He then added: “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately” (Mark 11:3). Jesus intentionally chose to ride on a donkey because He desired to reveal to the Jews that He was the Messiah.
- Zechariah’s Prophecy. About 500 years before Jesus was born the Jewish people were released from exile and returned to the Promised Land. Soon after, God spoke to His people through the prophet Zechariah. Zechariah’s name means “The Lord remembers” and God remembered His people and calls them to “return to me” (Zech 1:3). Zechariah called the people to repentance and prophesied of a time when the Messiah (coming king) will appear. He wrote: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey” (9:9). This prophesy is why Jesus chose to ride on a donkey.
- The Crowd’s Reaction The crowd understood the significance of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. They remembered that Zechariah had also prophesied that the coming king shall “speak peace to the nations” (9:10), “set your prisoners free” (9:11), “protect them” (9:15), and “save them” (9:16). The people began to “spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches…and those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:8-10). The people understood that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah. They shouted “Save us!”, but they were thinking physically rather than spiritually. They wanted Jesus to drive out the Romans, but Jesus had come to drive out a far greater enemy (John 12:31).
- Jesus’ Intentionality. Sadly, the shouts of joy turned into shouts of rage and a few days later Jesus was carried out of Jerusalem on a cross. Jesus, however, knew this would happen. Jesus lived on this earth with the singular focus of fulfilling the Father’s plan to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He intentionally went into Jerusalem in order to make atonement for sin and offer salvation (John 12:32) to all who repent and believe the gospel.
Jesus lived with intentionality. Where do you stand with Jesus? Is He just a good moral teacher or is He your Lord and Savior? Just remember, Jesus intentionally entered Jerusalem on a donkey so that you may be saved. Do you live your life for Him?