• Chan Gin Kai

A Triumphal Entry, Or So It Seemed

Chan Gin Kai

Luke 19:28-44

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

(Luke 19:28-40)

Confused About Jesus

It was a triumphal entry, or so it seemed

Jesus was entering Jerusalem with great fanfare, but not everyone was excited. The Pharisees in particular were upset, and asked Jesus to rebuke his disciples for their zealous proclamation of praises.

Jesus’ response dripped with irony; he replied that if he silenced his disciples, even inanimate objects would take up the songs of praise. It was a metaphoric retort, implying that the Pharisees were so blind that they could not see what even the stones could.

Not everyone saw that Jesus is the King. Do we?

We often fail to see the obvious too. We get confused about Jesus because we try to typecast him. To truly understand Jesus, we cannot put him into boxes of "either or”.

If Jesus is humble, why did he bask in the glorious procession into Jerusalem? If he is selfless, why did he use someone else’s colt when he could have easily walked into Jerusalem? In commandeering the colt, Jesus showed his authority as King. It was a teaching point to his disciples, that he could be humble and selfless, yet show authority and command obedience.

We have to love Jesus’ persona of a firm king who expects obedience, as much as we love his persona of a loving, humble servant who washed his disciples’ feet. He is a servant and a king, our friend and our master.

Let’s stop typecasting Jesus, and love him for all that he is. That’s how he loves us too.

Fickle Towards Jesus

It was a triumphal entry, or so it seemed.

Jesus entered Jerusalem as King, but knew that it was in this city that he would be arrested and sentenced to death. The singing and praising crowd that adored him as king would in a few days turn into a screaming mob, baying for blood. Would we enjoy praises from someone whom we know would stab us in the back later?

It wasn’t only the crowd that was fickle. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Peter and the others deserted Jesus when he was arrested. I know I’ve been just as fickle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve praised Jesus one day but blamed him the next day, or called him my King but refused to submit to his will. But Jesus loved his disciples despite their wavering loyalty, and believed in their ability to change.

Jesus has the same love and belief in us too.

The Tears Of Jesus

It was a triumphal entry, or so it seemed.

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus predicted the fate that would befall Jerusalem in AD 70. The city was destroyed, the Jews’ beloved temple was burnt down, hundreds of thousands were killed, and tens of thousands were sold into slavery. It broke his heart, and Jesus wept.

The entry into Jerusalem was supposed to be his moment of glory; it should have been laughters of joy, not tears of sadness. He knew he was going to die a cruel death a few days later, but his concern was for the people. Jesus puts us above himself, and our emotions over his.

Jesus is the mighty and merciful King.

Chan Gin Kai

Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.

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