Lesson One: The Triumphant Entry
Scriptural References: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19.
A. The Triumphant Entry Fulfilled Prophecy:
• “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9).
• In the life of our Lord every Old Testament prophecy had to be literally fulfilled.
• The Triumphant Entry was no exception.
• Zechariah had foretold of this moment of triumph and public acclaim and had described just exactly how He would ride into Jerusalem.
• In this prophecy He was seen as a humble king, one whose interests lay in justice and salvation.
• Peace rather than war was to concern him primarily.
• In this prophecy it states that Jesus would ride upon the back of a colt, the foul of an ass.
B. Previously Jesus Had Refused Public Acclamation:
• “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone” (John 6:15).
• Throughout His public ministry the Lord Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that God’s Anointed should be a proclaimer of divine truth, and not a violent agitator (Matthew 12:16-21) as were some of the false messiahs who had preceded Him.
• Pilate could testify, “I find no fault in this man.”
C. The Triumphant Entry:
• Although Jesus had previously refused any public proclamation of His Messiahship, the time had come for Jesus to make an open declaration of His claims as the Messiah.
• Because this proclamation had to be of a symbolic nature, Jesus deliberately planned the messianic demonstration that would take place.
• Jesus knew that He was riding to His death, but He still made His preparations and received the homage of the people calmly and deliberately.
• He knew that every crisis in His life was part of the divine program.
• As they drew near to Bethpage on their way to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of His disciples into the village to get the animal upon which He would ride into Jerusalem.
• They would find an ass and colt tied in the open street in front of a house.
• If the owner were to ask why they were loosing the animals, they were to “The reply, Lord hath need of him.”
• The ass was a symbol of peaceful royalty.
• A multitude of Galilean peasants who had already arrived in Jerusalem wanted to see Jesus and Lazarus, and had set out for Bethany.
• Others who were convinced that Jesus would now establish His Kingdom joined these.
• They cut off branches of palms and spread them in the road along with their garments.
• They waved the palm branches into the air and broke out into a loud chorus, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
• The word, “Hosanna” meant “Save Now.”
• It originally was uttered as a supplication, but here in the triumphant entry it became a shout of welcome.
• The Pharisees who had come to spy on Jesus were in despair.
• They had planned to have Him arrested before the Feast but now the whole multitude was acclaiming Him and wildly cheering Him.
• In their desperation they appeal to Jesus, “Master, rebuke thy disciples.”
• Jesus knew their hearts and answered, “I tell you that if these should hold their tongues, the very stones will cry out.”
D. Jesus Knew That Judgment Was Inevitable:
• This was a moment of great rejoicing for the disciples of our Lord.
• For three years they had looked forward to a time like this.
• However, Jesus was under no illusions.
• He knew that this wave of enthusiasm would soon pass, and that, within the week, many that were now shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” would be clamoring, “Crucify him! crucify him!”
• He knew that the nation had missed its day of opportunity and that judgment was inevitable.
• He saw the destruction and desolation of the city that would take place in less than forty years in the future when Titus would take the city with his Roman legions.
• Jesus broke out into a wailing lamentation.
• The voice of the multitude was hushed and much of their enthusiasm vanished as they listened to the pronouncement of judgment by the One which they were acclaiming King.
• “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in one every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:43-44).
Self Help Test
A. Write a paragraph describing the Triumphant Entry.
B. Why had Jesus refused public acclamation before this time?
C. Explain the meaning of the word, “Hosanna.”
D. Where is Bethpage?
E. Of what was the ass a symbol?
F. What prophecy was fulfilled by the Triumphant Entry?