Passover week in Jerusalem was a big deal. People had been celebrating Passover for over 1500 years as they remembered what God did for the Hebrews as they were delivered from Egypt. It was also one of the three pilgrimage feasts that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the city. This day was known as "Lamb Selection Day" (Ex 12:1-3). This was the day that each family would choose an unblemished lamb that would be sacrificed four days later. At the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was under the rule of Rome, and the Jewish people were tired of it. They wanted a someone to come and restore Israel to it's people, and they believed Jesus was the man to do it. They were looking for military strength and a political king. This is the setting that Jesus enters into.
"At the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples saying to them, 'Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her, Untie them and bring them to me.'" By doing this, Jesus is intentionally fulfilling the prophesy found in Zechariah 9:9 that says, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the people "spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches." The palm branches signify the expectation of a military victory of their king over the occupying Romans. It was a sign of uprising. They were shouting "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Hosanna means, "Lord, save us now!"
Unfortunately, the people didn't get it. Neither did the disciples. Luke 19:41 says, "and when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, 'Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.'" He understands that the peace they desire won't come from conquering the occupying empire. It will come from the sacrifice of a lamb that brought deliverance thousands of years before. It will come through the shed blood of one who will lay down his life so that the whole household will be delivered.
1 Peter 1:18-19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world.
John the Baptist - Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
1 Corinthians 5:7 For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.
Revelation 12:11 They overcame by the blood of the Lamb...
Discuss as a Family:
- The people in Jerusalem had the wrong expectations of Jesus. In what ways do you make Jesus out to be the Savior you "want" Him to be?
- Where do your expectations get out of alignment with the reality of God's Word?
- Spend time this week remembering the events of Holy Week. Thank God for the true gift of Jesus as the "perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!"