As we all prepare to worship this Palm Sunday, we should ask the question “Which one am I?” The day that Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, which person in the crowd would you have been? Would you have been one of the crowd who wanted Jesus to overthrow Rome and set you free? Or would you have been one of those who had at least a small understanding that Jesus wasn’t entering Jerusalem as conquering King, but rather as the Sacrificial Lamb?
If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, what would you have been thinking when Jesus asked you to fetch him a donkey:
When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” (Matthew 21:1-5)
Matthew goes on to say that the disciples “went and did just as Jesus had instructed them”, but what were they thinking as they did so? Did they recall hearing the prophecy from Zechariah? What would you have been thinking?
Jesus had been giving hints and outright saying what would happen when the entered Jerusalem. Would you have believed that Jesus was truly going to die? Or would you have been caught up in the fervor of the moment and simply spent that time worshiping the God-man you expected to be the Conquering King, come to save you from Roman domination?
The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”
When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:6-11)
If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, would you have fled the next week when Jesus was betrayed by your friend Judas and arrested by the Chief Priests? When Jesus was buried in the grave, would you have remembered what he had told you?
“For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial…Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” (Matthew 26:12, 31-32)
Which one are you today? Do you worship Christ as Conquering King, the one will save you from whatever situation, dilemma, or oppression you are facing? Or do you know Him as your Sacrificial Lamb who has taken away your sins?