Summary: This message looks at the events of Passion week.
Introduction: If you only had a week to live what would you do? Some people answer that question by saying that they would go out with a bang, doing all the things they never got to do but wanted to do. That might be traveling and seeing things they had never seen before. Some people might go sky diving or bungie jumping to experience things they had never experienced before. Others would say they would spend that last week visiting with friends and family. Finally, some people would say that they would spend their last few days getting their life in order. Making sure the medical bills were paid, and that the life insurance premiums were up to date, and that the funeral arrangements were taken care of.
This morning I want us to take a closer look at the last week of the Lord’s life. Lets read our Text together. Luke 19:28-41.
As Jesus made his way to Jerusalem for the Passover, he knew that he had less than a week to live. His mind and heart were filled with all kinds of different thoughts and emotions. In the passage of Scripture we just read Jesus told a couple of his disciples to go on ahead of the rest of them to the village of Bethpage. He told them to look for a specific donkey or colt that had never been ridden and bring it to him. He also instructs them that if anyone asks them what they are doing to simply say, “That the Lord need it.” When they entered the village they found the colt tied up just as Jesus had told them. They proceeded to untie it and the people who owned the colt said, “Hey what do you think you’re doing?” The disciples answered by saying, “The Lord needs it.” We don’t know if Jesus had prearranged this with the owners or not, but in any respect when they learned that the disciples were taking the colt to Jesus that was good enough for them.
The Disciples brought the colt to Jesus and he rode it into Jerusalem. Have you ever wondered why Jesus did this? Was he tired, were his feet hurting? Maybe but that’s not the reason he wanted to ride the donkey into Jerusalem. And then there’s the question of the donkey? Why did he chose to ride a donkey, instead of a horse? Wouldn’t it have been much more dignified for him to have ridden a horse? In the eyes of the disciples I’m sure it would have been, but Jesus knew what he was doing. He rode the donkey for a couple of reasons.
First of all, he rode the colt into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy concerning the Messiah which is found in Zechariah 9:9 which says, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donekey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Secondly, Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem because it was a symbol of humility and peace. When the Romans conquered a city the commanding officer would often ride into the city on a White Stallion, symbolizing his Authority and power. Jesus wanted to send the right message to the people of Jerusalem. He wanted them to see Him as the Humble servant of God, not as a Powerful leader with a military agenda. Too many of them already expected him to lead a rebellion against Rome and he certainly didn’t want to encourage that false idea in any way.