This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey…’ The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! (Matthew 21: 4-5,9)
Jesus knew that when He mounted the donkey and rode into Jerusalem, He was riding to His death. How Jesus knew that He had to die for us, that by His sacrifice we could be reconciled to God, that by His blood our sins could be washed away, how by giving His all God could receive all of us—how Jesus knew all that isn’t for us to know; but that He believed all that is without doubt.
Otherwise He wouldn’t have ridden in to be betrayed, denied, scourged, mocked, and crucified. If Jesus hadn’t believed that He was riding into Jerusalem for us, riding in for some larger purpose, then His riding into Jerusalem was simply an act of suicide. But, clearly, that wasn’t the case. For here we are, 2,000 years later, believing in Jesus, trusting that He is our Lord and Savior, experiencing the forgiveness of our sins, and resting in His love.
Today we would usually be in worship, with those we know and love, reading about, remembering, and even reenacting Jesus’ riding into Jerusalem long ago. But we aren’t. No, most of us are at home, and it can seem like the events of Palm/Passion Sunday are very far removed from our current situation.
I submit to you—I proclaim to you—that the hope we need right now is not far removed from what Jesus once did long ago; and that hope is based on this: Jesus is still riding on, riding on to where He is needed, riding into pain and grief and worry and fear. He rides on to wherever people need Him, wherever He can lift up broken hearts, wherever He can heal and guide and love and strengthen. If Jesus only once rode into the ancient city of Jerusalem long ago, then our faith is not unlike visiting a museum. But our faith is more; our faith is a living reality; our faith tells us that the One who once mounted the donkey to ride to His death and to initiate our salvation will never stop riding to where God’s children need Him.
Which means that Jesus is riding to those who are looking for a vaccine, to those risking their health in the hospitals, to those trying to lead during horrific challenges, to those finding places for the homeless, to those grieving the loss of a loved one, to those feeling stuck and anxious at home, to those consumed with dread because they have or might lose their jobs.
Our hope today is this: Wherever we are, whatever we are going through, whatever we need, Jesus knows and He will not leave us to suffer or struggle or grieve alone. He sees all. Knows all. And He will never stop riding to where He is needed. And with that trust, our cry is this: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
- As you picture and imagine Jesus still riding, where do you see Him going?
- Where do you need Jesus to be right now in your life?
- As Jesus rides on, He wants us to join Him. Where might He be calling you to ride with Him?