2 Chronicles 13-14 John 12:1-26
“Jesus found a colt and sat on it. This was as the Scripture says, ‘Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem! Your king is coming, sitting on the colt of a donkey.’ Zechariah 9:9” (John 12:14-15 NCV)
The time had come for the beginning of the end. Jesus had gone to Bethany and brought Lazarus back from the dead, which put a target on His head as well as Lazarus’s. He’d been anointed for His burial, sparking a confrontation with Judas where we learned that Judas was an embezzler. The end began with a bang, though as Jesus deliberately fulfilled this prophecy from Zechariah. He arranged to get a donkey so that He could ride into Jerusalem as the prophecy foretold. That might cause a problem with some people today, who’d want to meet Him at the airport, but Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill this prophecy. I don’t recall any other mention in the Bible of Jesus traveling by donkey or any other animal.
To use a modern saying, Jesus lived rent free in the Pharisees’ heads. They were obsessed with getting rid of the threat that Jesus posed. They wanted people to tell them what Jesus had done. They worked on getting anyone who followed Jesus out of the synagogues. Now, the greatest threat of all was looming. The infatuation that people had with Jesus would bring the wrath of Rome on them for what would be the final time. Then, Jesus deliberately fulfilled the prophecy about the Messiah coming into Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowds rejoiced. The Pharisees went into panic mode in their quest to execute Jesus. Ultimately, there was a choice to make: people could choose to follow the Pharisees, or they could choose to follow Jesus. Following the Pharisees seemed like the safe way because it would maintain the status quo. Maybe the Jews weren’t too happy with the Romans, but, if I can use the expression without sounding blasphemous, better the devil you know than the one you don’t. Those who followed Jesus knew that there might be a price to pay, but they also believed that He was a prophet of God. They feared Rome, but they feared God more. We have a similar choice today. We can choose to follow Jesus, or we can choose what seems to be the safe way and follow society. Those who sought safety in Jerusalem, saw its destruction less than forty years later. Those who followed Jesus faced death but found out that Jesus was so much more than a prophet. Their end was not destruction, though, their end was eternal life. Those who follow Jesus today can be assured of eternal life no matter what society does with them. Those who follow the way of the world, will go the way of the world in the age to come – and it won’t be pretty. As for me and my house, we choose to serve the Lord.
Lord, the most important choice that people will ever have is whether or not to follow You. Thank You for leading me to follow You. Thank You for keeping me in Your love.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.