“If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it. . . .’”
As Jesus comes within a few miles of Jerusalem, he begins making arrangements for a large-scale public event. This is a strategic time, when crowds of people are gathering from all nations for the Jewish Passover celebration.
The crowd around Jesus is all excited about him. His entry into Jerusalem will not be missed—but it is misunderstood. He is not coming as a rival to the Roman king, as many in the crowd were thinking. But as the King of kings, he is coming to lay down his life as a sacrifice for everyone’s sins. Instead of being treated as an earthly ruler, Jesus will be crowned with thorns, sentenced to death on a cross, and mocked as a king of fools.
To prepare for this, Jesus sends two of his disciples to fetch a colt for him. Knowing that they will be asked about what they are doing, he also tells them what to say.
Jesus knows what is ahead. He knows what he needs in order to fulfill God’s plan to save us. Riding a colt to proclaim peace for all nations through the blood of a new covenant (Zechariah 9:9-11), Jesus will go right to the temple, where sacrifices are offered for the forgiveness of sins.
On the first day of this important final week for Jesus, we are invited to know what we need. We need Jesus to be offered for the forgiveness of our sins.
Dear God, help us to see that Jesus knew what it would take to pay for all our sins, and that we desperately need forgiveness. In his name, Amen.