κύριος kyrios; from κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title): God, Lord, master, Sir.
The Lord of time and space. Immense prophetic and messianic relevance. Makes us ask- who is this Jesus? How great thou art. God’s great wisdom and mastery of justice in the midst of the chaos we create (from our empires to our daily personal choices)
Full of prophetic language and fulfillment. We as Christians, must be avid students of the prophetic and operate/function/ live in this realm of God’s sovereign operation. The triumphant entry is full of words rooted deeply in the psyche of Jewish messianic expectation.
Found in all four gospels. Matthew 21:10-17; Luke 19: 28-47; John 12: 12-19
The Triumphal Entry
As they *approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He *sent two of His disciples, and *said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they *untied it. Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. They *brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:
“Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
Jacob’s prophecy (approx 1900 years before this event)
Gen 49:10-11 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. “ He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes.
Zechariah 9:9 (approx 550 years before event) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Balaam’s donkey. Where the prophet has lost his way (Under the bidding of kings or the desire for power and wealth) The donkey sees the will and Word of God. More parallels with Jesus’ times*
Numbers 22:22-33 22 But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, the donkey turned off from the way and went into the field; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back into the way. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself to the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 The angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam was angry and struck the donkey with his stick. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Then Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. 33 But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.”
1Ki 1:38 – 40 Solomon Anointed King So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the Cherethites, and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. Zadok the priest then took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” All the people went up after him, and the people were playing on flutes and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth shook at their noise.
Solomon was anointed and placed on the throne, riding in a procession on a donkey! Jesus – the Son of David!
———– Side note: the mention of Bethphage and Bethany was ridiculed by critics of the Bible as a contradiction because it was a long and winding route rather than straight to Jerusalem till archeology proved that’s how the Roman road was laid out! ———–
II. “The Lord has need of it”
May seem ambiguous or like Christ asking his disciples to steal a donkey. But this is royal language and a custom of kings. It was well understood and practiced – whether a donkey or a horse or any resource in a king’s dominion. Also no one was allowed to ride the king’s horse or donkey. And the king would use a pristine one, not used for another purpose or by someone else. Only he would sit on it (Jesus specifies “on which no one yet has ever sat” Luke 19:30b)
The Greek word for Lord is κύριος kyrios; from κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Master (as a respectful title): — God, Lord, master, Sir.
III. “Coats on the road”
Also brings in imagery of the old testament. who was the worst king of Israel? And (The first) organized persecutor of the prophets? Who put prophets to death and seeked to kill them?
Ahab and his consort Jezebel.
So what’s that got to do with the “coats on the road” and Christ’s triumphal entry? It marked the change of covenant/high priest/leader/prophet/kingship over Israel!!! Like Jehu would replace Ahab.
God had enough of Ahab and Jezebel.
2Ki 9:1-13 Jehu Reigns over Israel Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead. When you arrive there, search out Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and bid him arise from among his brothers, and bring him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and flee and do not wait.”
So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting, and he said, “I have a word for you, O captain.” And Jehu said, “For which one of us?” And he said, “For you, O captain.” He arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’” Then he opened the door and fled.
Now Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” And he said to them, “You know very well the man and his talk.” They said, “It is a lie, tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and thus he said to me, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’” Then they hurried and each man took his garment and placed it under him on the bare steps, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king!”
*Interesting parallels with the Jewish leaders and Rome!!! Godless and meaningless Judaism and radical paganism hand in hand. Makes us wonder about the world we have today – it’s now on a global scale! A similar Israel leads the world in technology and is in forefront of so many other fields. And her consort is an increasingly radical and pagan western civilization. They persecute the truth… Jesus will be at the gate soon!
For any serious student of the OT and prophecy, Jesus is a lighthouse- an elephant in the room.
Jesus, the anointed one, enters His domain and cleanses the temple and heals – messianic characteristics. The entire event was a clear indication of a new move of God and a fundamental change God has initiated. The crowds, their response, the details of the event… the chief priests and scribes had a terrible premonition – becoming indignant.
Matthew 21:10-17 10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” Cleansing the Temple 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus *said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?” 17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.
Luke 19:37-40 37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
Like Pharaoh before Moses (“Let my people go!”), they choose to hardened their heart and “the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him” Luke 19:47 (Like Ahab and Jezebel)
IV. “The stones will cry out.”
Jesus testifies of the unstoppable force that prophecies are. Plans formed before the foundations of the world were at play. This was not prophetic language but a literal warning. He could raise children of Abraham from stones. This I AM Language.
V. “Mount of Olives and Bethany”
Messianic prophecy and progression of covenant and redemptive history.
Procession starts at Bethany, mount of olives, enters the east gate. Before the destruction of the temple and the glory of God departing Israel, the temple and the captivity (589 BC) – listen to Ezekiel’s prophecy of the glory of God returning to the temple and the removal of all the wickedness and institutions added by humans, all the events unfolding around the mount of olives and into Jerusalem – the glory of God which left in 589 BC returns in the person and work of the Son. That’s why Jesus enters, inspects, clears, and heals in the temple!!! (Matthew 21:10-17)
Ezekiel 43:1-9 Vision of the Glory of God Filling the Temple 1 Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; 2 and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3 And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. 5 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6 Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. 7 He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die, 8 by setting their threshold by My threshold and their door post beside My door post, with only the wall between Me and them. And they have defiled My holy name by their abominations which they have committed. So I have consumed them in My anger. 9 Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell among them forever.
The above passage also lends weight to the event (Triumphal entry) being God wrestling His Kingship back over spiritual Israel (“The King of the Jews” INRI) – the foundation of a heavenly city and temple not made by human hands – made up of living stones. This Kingdom, this city, this temple is the everlasting kingdom and cannot be destroyed by man or all the gates of hell.
VI. “The palm leaves”
John 12:12-13 12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.”
Represents Royalty and also the nature of righteous now determined by allegiance to Jesus Christ the King.
The Palm tree is a regal tree with foliage bursting right at the top like a crown.
It is also a symbol of fertility in a land of barrenness.
We are likened to a Palm tree, “the righteous shall flourish like the Palm tree” (Psalm 92). Further down in verse, it also mentions the green sap meaning vitality/eternal life. The sap of a Palm tree was used as a natural sweetener and is also used for making wine.
Psalms 92:5-15 How great are Your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. But You, O LORD, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, O LORD, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Christ now establishes an everlasting Kingdom and one never to be destroyed. A temple and glory that fills the earth as the waters cover the sea. A nation of nations, a people gathered from the nations, a city made of living stones, a city made by the hands of Jesus Christ.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.
Isa 62:1 – 4
Zion’s Glory and New Name For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory;And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, “ Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”And your land, “ Married”; For the LORD delights in you,And to Him your land will be married.
- He is Lord of time and space and the ocean of the peoples, nations and cultures.
- He is head of the Church and indisputable leader of the Kingdom of God. He has removed all other human leadership interference (kings and high priests.. etc)
- The disciples locked into the eternal purpose of God by the simplicity of devotion to Jesus. Being around Jesus lead to being in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing!!
- The second coming of Jesus
- The shepherds must look to the chief Shepherd. Do not make the mistakes of the Chief priests and scribes! Humble yourselves under His mighty hand – Be wary of earthly strings and desire for power/manipulation/..etc
I would like to acknowledge the masterful exposition by R. C. Sproul on the Gospel of Mark, on which I have relied heavily. Also, others from the church (Ajit, Binoy, and Sharon) who contributed with their reflections.