Summary: the Triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, which we recall this Palm Sunday, we see: 1) The End of the Pilgrimage (Matthew 21:1a), the 2) The Exactness of Prophecy (Matthew 21:1b-7), 3) The Epitome of Praise (Matthew 21:8-9) and 4) The Element of Perplexity (Matthew 21:10-11)
Things are not always as they seem on the surface. When Elizabeth II had her coronation on June 02, 1953, to the casual observer, she made it look easy. As with so much in the line of royalty, the reality is a little different. Elizabeth II, who discussed her memories of her coronation in a BBC documentary, described the Imperial State Crown as “very unwieldy”. In this, the 65th anniversary of her coronation this year, she noted herr “mischievous” children, a lost scepter and a dress so heavy she stuck to the carpet. This is all thrown into the mix of a “horrible” carriage ride from Westminster Abbey to the palace in a “not very comfortable” Gold State Coach designed only for short journeys (https://nationalpost.com/news/world/your-neck-would-break-queen-elizabeth-on-the-unwieldy-crown-and-horrible-ride-on-coronation-day)
In another picture of a coronation that is not like it seems, Matthew 21:1–11 portrays the most significant coronation the world has yet seen. It was a true coronation of a true King. He was affirmed as King and was, in a sense, inaugurated into His kingship. But there was no pomp, no splendor, and a nondescript sort of pageantry. The “Triumphal” Entry epitomizes the upside-down values of the Kingdom. Jesus radically shifted the world’s paradigm of greatness, showing greatness to be found in humble service, not arrogant rule (Comfort, Philip Wesley: Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 11. Carol Stream, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 2005-c2006, S. 267). This triumphal entry was His last major public appearance before His crucifixion and was an extremely important event in His divine ministry on earth, an event that is frequently dramatized but seldom studied carefully or understood for its true significance. This final week is so important that the Gospels give a disproportionate amount of space to it. Jesus lived thirty-three years. His active ministry occupied three years. But large portions of the Gospels are given over to the events of just the last eight days. Matthew devotes one-fourth of his Gospel to it (chaps. 21–28). Mark uses one-third of his Gospel (chaps. 11–16). Luke gives a fifth of his chapters to the events of this last week (chaps. 19:28–24). Most remarkable of all, John gives half of his Gospel (chaps. 12–21). Taken together, there are eighty-nine chapters in the Gospels, but twenty-nine and a half of these (exactly one-third) recount what happened between the triumphal entry and Jesus’ resurrection. Such is the case because these are the climactic events not only of Jesus’ life but of all history. They were planned from before the foundation of the world, and our salvation from sin and wrath depends on them (Boice, James Montgomery: The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books, 2001, S. 434).
In this passage of Matthew 21:1-11, we see who Jesus is, what we can expect of him, to what degree we can rely on God’s word, how we tend to interpret scripture to our liking, and what He expects of us in worship of Him. In this final week, starting with the Triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, which we recall this Palm Sunday, we see: 1) The End of the Pilgrimage (Matthew 21:1a), the 2) The Exactness of Prophecy (Matthew 21:1b-7), 3) The Epitome of Praise (Matthew 21:8-9) and 4) The Element of Perplexity (Matthew 21:10-11)
The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus shows:
1) The End of The Pilgrimage: (Matthew 21:1a)
Matthew 21:1a [21:1] Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, (then Jesus sent two disciples), (ESV)
After healing the two blind men in Jericho and leading Zaccheus to Himself, the Lord made His final journey to Jerusalem. When Jesus was 12 years old, he went up to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. This was something pious Jews did every year (see Luke 2:41, 42). So, we can assume that Jesus made many trips to Jerusalem to observe the Passover. But this time was different. Jesus was very much aware that he was going up to Jerusalem to die. Along the way he told his disciples at least three times that he was going to be handed over to the chief priests and condemned to death but that on the third day he would rise again (see Matthew 16:21; 17:22, 23; 20:17–19).(Albrecht, G. Jerome ; Albrecht, Michael J.: Matthew. Milwaukee, Wis. : Northwestern Pub. House, 1996 (The People's Bible), S. 292)
As He drew near/approached Jerusalem, He also approached the end of His three years of ministry, which had been preceded by thirty years of obscurity He was about to reach the final goal set before Him by His heavenly Father. As the multitudes followed along with Him to celebrate the Passover, little did they know they were accompanying the Passover Lamb Himself. During a census taken about ten years after this time, the number of sacrificial lambs slaughtered at the Passover was determined to be some 260,000. Because one lamb was allowed to be offered for up to ten people, the worshipers in Jerusalem that week could have numbered over 2,000,000. This was the only time in His ministry that Jesus actually planned and promoted a public demonstration. Up to this time, He had cautioned people not to tell who He was, and He had deliberately avoided public scenes (Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. Mt 21:1).