“Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said, “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt’” (Matthew 21:2-5).
Palm Sunday is near and it usually means children and songs and palms and our Lord overlooking Jerusalem with the cross in the forefront of His mind and His disciples amidst Him, clueless of all that’s to transpire. I’ve preached Palm Sunday many times, and often reflecte on the mixed emotions of joy and sorrow that Jesus would have felt as He rode the donkey down to Jerusalem (the joy part is something I’ve always questioned: sure, the multitudes are joyful and singing, but was Jesus, knowing His terrible death was but days away?).
After much study and thought, it’s become apparent that there’s more to the procession than I’d originally understood. The fulfilled prophecy mentioned in Matthew is from Zechariah 9:9. It’s an old promise of redemption that God gave to His people, and it’s deep. Like the depths of a river, God’s Spirit moves and gives life with an incredible, subtle power. We often live on the shores of God’s river, enjoying life as a beach or dock. But it’s more than that and it’s wonderfully meaningful, for the shore line may recede into a muddy mess or dry up, but God’s depths of faithfulness will always remain.
I’ll see you this Sunday as I preach on Matthew 21:1-11, The Depths of God’s Faithfulness.