MARK 11:1-11 (NIV – UK)
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” [Psalm 118:25-26]
10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
JESUS THE KING
Five hundred years before this event, the prophet Zechariah wrote:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. [Zechariah 9:9]
Here in Mark we read about the day Zechariah foresaw. There was a colt conveniently waiting and Jesus knew how to direct the disciples to it (v. 2), not by chance, but because these things were written long ago. (Just as a side, have you ever noticed there is a cross on the back of a donkey? I wonder why God put this mark on the donkey?) Of course, as Jesus rides into Jerusalem here, he begins his journey to the Cross where he will die for us. This was always plan A. God’s plan for his people has almost reached it’s defining moment.
In verse 9 Mark quotes Psalm 118:25-26 – showing us that Psalm 118 was pointing forward to Jesus. If we read on in that Psalm, we see something interesting:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar. [Psalm 118:26-27]
Jesus, the King, is to ride into Jerusalem, and up to ‘the horns of the altar’ – the altar being the place of sacrifice. That is, of course, where Jesus is headed – to be the perfect sacrifice for sin on the Cross.
Question: Does it give you confidence to know that God’s plan for his people was foreseen and carried out just as he had planned? How does it make you feel about Jesus?