Summary: Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly just days prior to the crucifixion. Many were overjoyed with the Lord that day, but the cries of Hosanna would soon fade and another cry would be heard - Crucify! I am thankful for the commitment of our Lord.
Hosanna in the Highest
Mark 11: 1-11
Our text deals with a significant moment and time in the life of Jesus. Most title this passage – the triumphal entry. It begins what has come to be known as Passion Week. The Lord makes His initial entrance into Jerusalem, preparing to offer Himself on the cross as the atonement for our sin. The jubilant reception He received at this moment will soon be replaced with cries for His crucifixion. This is certainly a significant passage for every believer as well.
As we examine this passage, we must keep in mind the sovereignty involved in these events. Jesus had not haphazardly arrived at this moment in time. His life had been spent in preparation for the events that would soon follow. This was the reason for the incarnation and His time spent upon earth as a man. The event that took place that day had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier. Zech.9:9 – 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. Jesus was committed to fulfilling the plan of redemption.
As we consider the particular moments revealed in the text, I want to think on the thought: Hosanna in the Highest. Hopefully we will be reminded of the great love and commitment Christ had for us, and such a reminder should stir our hearts with love and commitment for Him.
I. A Time of Preparation (1-6) – The opening verses of this passage reveal the detailed preparation that went into the triumphal entry. This event was not left to chance; it had been divinely prophesied and would be sovereignly carried out. Consider:
A. The Location (1) – And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples. As Jesus continued to make His way toward Jerusalem, having His heart set on fulfilling the Father’s will, they had arrived in the area of Bethphage and Bethany. The two villages were located just to the east of Jerusalem. Bethphage was the larger of the two, but Bethany was dear to the heart of Jesus. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived in Bethany, and it was there that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. According to Matthew 21:1, it appears the colt Jesus would ride into Jerusalem was to be found in Bethphage. As they stood on the Mount of Olives, lying just northeast of Jerusalem and having an elevation of some 2,600 feet, Jesus could see Jerusalem before Him. One can only imagine the emotion Jesus must have felt at this moment, surveying the city below.
B. The Instruction (2-3) – And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.  And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. We are not given the names of the two disciples that were sent, and the other gospels do not reveal which of the twelve they were either. Some speculate it was Peter and John, but we do not know for certain. These two were instructed to go into the village, where they would find a colt tied as soon as they entered. If anyone questioned why they were taking the colt, they were instructed to tell them that the Lord had need of it. Jesus assured the men that they would be allowed to take the colt, because these would believe their words.
This is a simple task, but it reveals the sovereignty of Jesus in regard to this matter. He had not gone ahead of the disciples. Jesus knew exactly where they would find the colt tied, and He knew there would be no dispute in the matter. This should encourage us as we walk with the Lord. There is nothing we face in life that He cannot control; He has the ability to orchestrate even the smallest details of our lives.
I thought of how the two chosen to go after the donkey might have felt. They may have been more than happy to go, but it is possible that they felt this was simple work and there were more important tasks to be handled. They likely had no idea what was about to transpire, and probably never considered they were being used to fulfill ancient prophecy. There are no unimportant or menial tasks when it comes to serving the Lord!
C. The Acquisition (4-6) – And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.  And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?  And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. As the disciples obediently went after the colt, they found it just as the Lord had said. As they were preparing to take the colt with them, they were questioned about what they were doing. Simply responding that the Lord needed the colt, they were allowed to take it with them. This happened just as they Lord had described. He had orchestrated these events long before the disciples arrived in Bethphage to get the donkey.