Day 1: The Entrance
Today’s reading: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19
The Entrance | Things Are Not As They Seem
The first day of the last week of Jesus’s life begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem. The Holy City, the center of the Promised Land, represents a thousand-year-old story of God’s deliverance of His people from slavery and His provision for them.
Throughout those years, God had promised His people a king— a Savior, the Messiah—who would deliver them from their enemies. However, the Jewish people expected a ruling king who would take their enemies by force as David had.
But during His three-year ministry, Jesus modeled a different nature— an upside-down approach. He was humble, He healed and He hung out with the outcast of society.
So while many gathered along the roadside, casting down palm branches, shouting, “Hosannah in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38), it’s likely that they didn’t truly understand the kind of king Jesus intended on being.
Jesus is the king who rides a donkey.
This wasn’t a noble steed with a full military procession. This was a humble man—a servant—riding on a servant animal.
Today reminds me that Jesus often enters our lives in the most unassuming way. In a world where we’ve come to idolize those in the limelight, Jesus chooses to enter humbly.
I think the point is, Jesus is approachable.
For me, this echoes His birth in the manger. It’s only fitting that this baby boy who was born in a stable would make his return riding on a donkey. God is reminding us, “With me, things are not what they seem.”
When we expect a shout, God gives us a gentle whisper. When we expect a grand parade, Jesus chooses a donkey.
The Weeping | A Freedom to Choose
In the gospel of Luke, we learn that the triumphal entry is followed by Jesus weeping for the city of Jerusalem and its people.
Many may see weeping as a sign of weakness, but this wasn’t the case for Jesus. Weeping speaks of His passion and His deep love for the righteousness of the Father.
Thousands of years before, God made a promise to Abraham, a covenant that He would bless His people. Now, this promise was being fulfilled. God had come in human form to redeem His people, but as we’ll see, they wouldn’t even notice Him.
Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, but because of their own expectations and understanding, the Jewish people couldn’t see the promise being fulfilled before their eyes.
If we’re honest, I’m afraid not much has changed today. Too often, our expectations and understanding keep us from seeing the true nature of God. It’s easier to confine God to a comfortable box and relegate our faith to religious duty and good behavior.
But no matter where you find yourself, there’s amazing reassurance today that Jesus wept.
I believe He wept because He loves us enough to allow us the freedom to choose. You see, true love requires a choice. It cannot be forced. Like those in the story, many will not choose to reciprocate His love. But their freedom, our freedom won’t stop Him.
You see, Jesus went first.
He chose to follow His Father’s will. By week’s end, He will choose the cross. He entered the city because He knew what He had to do—this was His Purpose, His Passion. Before the week is out, He’s going to prove it.
So today, I’m encouraged that God is approachable and despite where my life is, I still have a choice.
So do you.
1. What would it look like to encounter Jesus outside of the walls of religion?
2 Are you looking for the unexpected Jesus?
3. What walls have been built in your life to box Jesus in?
4. What choices are you making that are keeping you from seeing Jesus for who He is?
This devotional is a resource of YouPrint Faith and Personal Development. Get daily encouragement and teaching resources by joining The Portable Faith Community
You can partner with our organization with a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here.