As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
Matthew 21:1-3

Jesus enters Jerusalem for the Passover in an unusual way. He comes not as a conquering king on a warhorse but as a humble teacher on a donkey. There is a story (without scriptural or historical backing) that Pontius Pilate was arriving at the other gate in Jerusalem at the same time. While it may not have happened this way, Jesus and Pilate were both certainly in Jerusalem at that time.

Jesus’ arrival is recorded as a joyous parade – people came to welcome the prophet from Galilee rather than line the streets for the Roman governor’s entrance. This indicates a choice between the two, one that many in that crowd would unfortunately reverse later that week when the mob cried “Crucify Him!” It shows how quickly our feelings change when we don’t get what we want.

All along the people have sought a powerful Messiah who would restore them to a place of honor and power. Instead, Jesus offers them the promise of salvation through love and service – definitely not what they expected. We need to understand that God’s plan of connection to Him and each other through Jesus is far better than anything we could imagine for ourselves.

Gracious God, we have dreams and expectations for ourselves and our world. Help us to see that Your eternal plan is the only way we can ever be truly happy and fulfilled. Amen.

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