Mark 11:1-7 (HCSB): When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’”
So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the donkey?” They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go. Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it.
A seemingly meaningless event to Jesus’ disciples, and to most of those standing by. Jesus had walked into Jerusalem many times before; why did He need to ride this time? And if He wanted to ride, why pick an unbroken colt instead of a mature donkey that had experience as a mount?
But for all of this, there was only one reason: Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (HCSB)
Up to this time, Jesus had been reluctant to identify Himself as the Messiah, because the term had accumulated a myriad of political overtones that only caused confusion about who He really was, and what He had come to do. But the time for all of that was now past. The Passover would be here in five days, and it was time for Jerusalem’s true King to make His ultimate appearance, in complete fulfillment of the prophecy written about Him 450 years before.
Everything was ready. Jesus knew exactly where the donkey would be tied, and He knew the words needed to get those watching over the colt to release it into His care. The disciples experienced everything that Jesus said that they would, and it all worked perfectly. When they got the colt back to Jesus and spread their cloaks over it, Jesus got on and started over the hill to Jerusalem.
The disciples that went ahead of Him and those who followed behind had no idea what kind of reception they would get. They knew that a lot of very important people in Jerusalem would like nothing better than to see Jesus dead and buried. But Jesus knew exactly how the people would respond to Him, and went forward to greet the cheering crowds with His eyes wide open, knowing that in five short days, those cries of acclamation would be replace by shouts calling for Him to be crucified.
Father, in this episode we can see so clearly Jesus’ complete trust in You. He knew by heart every prophecy that You had ever made about Him. One by one they had been fulfilled – some purposefully, by Him, but many that were beyond His physical control orchestrated by You, so that everything would find its fulfillment in Him. That way there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind, not in ours, and not even in the minds of those who were, even then plotting His execution, Who He really was. Help us, Lord, to have that same trust in You, that same reliance, and that same willingness to march into whatever situation You lay out for us. Amen.