Jesus' entry into Jerusalem


Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

Description of the story:-

Jesus approached and asked his disciple to go ahead into the village without him: “go to the village there ahead of you... you’ll find a colt tied that has never been ridden”.  The disciples brought the colt with cloths on it so Jesus could ride it, and the crowd starting following him as he entered Jerusalem.  Many people saw Jesus as the Messiah and started putting their cloths on the roads and cut branch trees. They shouted out “Praise God, God bless him who comes in the name of the lord! God bless the coming kingdom of King David our father!”

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Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

Why the story of Jesus enters Jerusalem would lead to conflict:-

  • The fact that Jesus rode on a never ridden colt shows that he is a Messiah; the authorities were already concerned about anybody who attract a large crowd, whether for religious or political reasons, in case trouble started.    The Old Testament prophet Zechariah had written about the coming of the messiah in this way ‘humble and mounted on a donkey.’  This was a cause of conflict because people saw this as a direct challenge to the Jewish authorities, as the experts of the law knew it occurred in OT and so were threatened by this.
  • To make matters worse, people seemed to be welcoming Jesus as the Messiah.  The religious authorities would have been angered by the crowd claiming Jesus was the Messiah. 
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Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

  • In addition, the cried would have angered the political authorities, as the people appeared to be welcoming a political Messiah; Jewish tradition states that the Messiah will come as a warrior and save his people from the Romans. The Romans would have been angered by the suggestion that Jesus was this person.
  •  In addition, it is also possible that the crowd would later use this event as a source of conflict because the Messiah they welcomed into Jerusalem with shouts of ‘God save us’ allowed himself to be arrested and put to death without taking any heroic stand against the Roman. They could well have felt tricked by Jesus
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Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

The significance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem for Christians today:-

  • Many people see Jesus entering Jerusalem as fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah ( Zechariah 9:9) who would arrive “humble and mounted on a donkey.”  This confirms to Christians today that Jesus was the Son of God, God and the Messiah.  Similarly, many of those in the crowd recognised Jesus as the Messiah.  Just like them, Christians should recognise Jesus as the Messiah. 
  • The passage shows Jesus arriving peacefully.  He is setting his agenda as a peaceful Messiah.  Christians should remember this  if they ever considering taking up arms in name of Christianity.  
  • By arriving on a donkey/colt, Jesus is emphasising his humility as this is a cheap animal that poor person could afford.  Kings or political leaders would ride something more impressive.  By riding a humble animal shows that Jesus not kingly or royal, but he identifying with the ordinary people.  It helps Christians identify with the suffering of Jesus and feel able to share in the love for his father, God.
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Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

  • A donkey would be an animal that is owned by a poor person.  By giving such a crucial role in the story to a poor person, Jesus emphasises who it is he has come to save; the poor, humble and the rich in spirit.  He is setting an example for Christians today to help people.
  • For Christians, it marks the start of Holy Week; celebrated as Palm Sunday – a name that remembers the way the crowds welcomed Jesus by throwing palm branches on the ground.
  • Christians now look forward for Jesus second coming when they will see the “Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory “ (Mark 13:26)  Christians look forward to the time that they too can welcome the Messiah and the coming of the Kingdom of God.  Christians have put a webcam in Mount of Olives, to wait for Jesus’ return.
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