Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
The church world over just remembered the triumphant entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, a journey that marks his way to the Cross of our salvation. Letting alone the dating of this day in the church calendar to be remembered which many people would always like to question, it is a historical fact with a heavy theological significance. For about three years into his ministry, Jesus comes close to the appointed time of his suffering on the Cross, the culmination of his mission. He has said it, for no prophet is killed out of Jerusalem, and so even his death, which he has foretold many times, is to happen nowhere else but in Jerusalem and now is the time for the journey to begin.
Jesus is Lord! He confessed being King when tried by Pilate about five days after the triumphant entry. Hebrews 13:8 proclaims “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” He was born King; do you remember the message given to the wise men (the magi) from the east? That a king has been born in the land of Judah, and that they had come to worship the king that was born? Do you remember that even the scribes, the men who were experts in the law never disputed when king Herod asked where the king was to be born? In Bethlehem, they replied because they knew the scriptures had said so.
At the care of an ordinary countryman, a carpenter, he grew up as a king yet not known. He lived an ordinary life that even he himself said, foxes have holes and birds have nests but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head. And yet he is king. What an irony that a king should have nowhere to lay his head! Doesn’t a king own all properties in his kingdom, the farms, the gardens, the animals, and even the people? On the day of the triumphant entry, his kingship was explicitly seen in three ways (Luke 19:28-44).
First, he was offered a colt without an objection because subjects of a king never object to the demands of their master, the king. The king is sovereign over his kingdom and literally owns everything, the subjects are the stewards of the kingdom’s properties. Luke records this in his Gospel account; Luke 19: 28-35. Jesus sends two of his disciples to bring a colt from the village ahead, the instruction was that you will find a colt tied, untie it and bring it right here; and if asked why, say the Lord needs it. As the disciples followed his instructions to the last word, the owner of the colt asked them as they untied, “Why are you untying the colt”? and the simple answere they gave was, the Lord needs it.
Without objection, the owner released the colt because this was a kingly instruction, never to be objected. Many people have tried to reason that perhaps Jesus had a prior arrangement with the owner of this colt. Contextually, Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, it was when he approached Bethphage and Bethany that he sent the two disciples to bring the colt from a village ahead, he had not yet reached here. Whatever explanation man seeks to tell about the colt owner’s cooperation, he was convicted, the Lord who needs the colt, was king, and he demands his colt, so he surrendered it accordingly. Jesus is king! He entered Jerusalem, the heart of Israel (Judah) as a king, because he is the King of Jerusalem.
The colt Jesus demanded to ride on as he entered Jerusalem was an unridden colt, no one had yet ridden this colt, not even the owner. Even a state leader when elected in office, seldom uses a presidential car that has been used by his/her predecessor; they are driven in a new presidential car. This man Jesus, whose kingdom is not of the earthly, is king. Until now, he had not been recorded having ridden a colt, and when it was time for him to ride one, he being King had to ride on an unridden colt. How would a king ride on a colt that has been ridden by ordinary people? Impossible and acceptable! He rode on a new colt, as he entered Jerusalem, behold the King that comes in the name of the Lord.
More importantly, was the extra ordinary actions of the disciples and the people they met along the way as he entered Jerusalem. I notice two important actions here; first, the disciples put him on the colt and secondly, the people spread their cloaks on the road for him to ride on. Incredible actions, isn’t? Jesus has ever used a boat with his disciples, never had they honoured him as they have done here. He has been with the people, multitudes of them, not even once have we read that they had done such to him before. Why had they done this at this material time? because this time, it was very clear to them that Jesus is King and he has to enter Jerusalem a manner worth of a king. Indeed, their convictions where translated into their joyful song proclaiming Jesus king. They sung, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Behold he comes, riding on the colt, bringing peace to Jerusalem, Jesus the Lord!
Unfortunately, some of the Pharisees and city dwellers couldn’t see what the Lord was revealing to the city, others demanded Jesus to command his disciples to keep quiet. The city looked unwilling to accept and welcome her king, because they had not known what would bring them peace on this fateful day and that it was hidden from them. I have laboured to put in a very simple language what explicitly showed the kingship of the Lord Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. He was offered a colt without any objection because a king’s subjects don’t say no to him, he rode on a new colt never ridden before, typical of a king and the actions and proclamations of the disciples and the crowd proved beyond doubt that indeed Jesus is king. I have also quoted Hebrews 13:8, saying that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. I have not gone to the Old Testament scriptures prophesying Jesus as king and how these prophesies have been fulfilled in the new testament, I would have pages to write. I will simply say, the account in this few verses show Jesus is the King.
This triumphant entry is a taste of the eschatological event, Jesus died and rose again; he ascended to the heaven and now seated at the father’s right hand. He will come again to judge the living and the dead as is the confession of the Christian faith. Truly, Jesus is coming back, this time not only to Jerusalem, but to the entire world. His coming will be a spectacular event that everyone will watch, even the dead will rise from the dead and it’s going to be a time of judgment.
Like the Pharisees and some dwellers of Jerusalem, many today have denied the kingship of Jesus, with others even contending the existence of God. When Jerusalem looked adamant to welcome Jesus, he wept because he knew the cost that comes with such adamant attitude. Even so, denying Jesus or not welcoming him, makes us have the Jerusalem attitude, and Jesus would wish that you welcome him. He says: Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me. (Revelation 3:20). The Lord Jesus, who is King desires that everyone receives him as Lord and Saviour so as to become the children of God (John 1:12). Receive and accept him today as we together anticipate his coming back, that day when we shall see him come riding on the clouds, shining like the sun.
For when he comes, all eyes shall gaze at him, beautifully adorned robbed, bringing us peace, out of Zion’s hill will come our salvation. So let us joyfully sing:
Behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet’s call
So, lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee
Out of Zions hill, salvation comes