- Matthew 21:1-11
- John 12:12-16
- Mark 11:1-10
- Luke 19:29-38
And when they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them, and bring them to Me. And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'” And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which He sat. And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road. And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the multitudes were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”
On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.” And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY’S COLT.” These things His disciples did not understand at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.
And 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. And 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. And they went away and found a colt tied at the door outside in the street; and they untied it. And some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. And they brought the colt to Jesus and put their garments on it; and He sat upon it. And many spread their garments in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, “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!”
And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it here. “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ thus shall you speak, ‘the Lord has need of it.'” And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus on it. And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying, “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
As we read these four sections of Scripture we see that Jesus – Yeshua – issued a very deliberate command on a very particular day. The command He issued is related to riding on the donkey into Jerusalem. This is something that He had never done before even though He had been to Jerusalem many times. Why did He choose to do that?
This is the only time it’s recorded that He rode an animal of any sort into Jerusalem. In addition to riding the donkey, why did he choose this particular day to perform this very unusual act? Let me start by explaining the significance of the day Yeshua chose to ride this donkey into Jerusalem. The significance of the day lies in its relationship to Passover. The significance of this day lies in the fact that the ministry of Yeshua is portrayed through the events of the Passover. We learn from I Corinthians 5:6-7 that the Passover lamb portrays the ministry of Yeshua.
- I Corinthians 5:6-7
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. The Apostle Paul understood that the Passover lamb portrayed the person and work of our Savior.
Let’s not forget John 1:29 either
- John 1:29
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Yeshua is the Lamb of God. His person and work were portrayed through the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. But how does that fact relate to the day Yeshua rode a donkey into Jerusalem? For the answer to that question, let’s turn to the Book of Exodus.
- Exodus 12:1-2
Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.
In verses 1 and 2 we find ourselves at the beginning of the Biblical calendar. It’s the month that’s currently known as Nisan. At one time the month was named Abib, but that name was changed during the Babylonian captivity to Nisan. You’ll see both names in your Bible. However, both Abib and Nisan refer to the same month.
- Exodus 12:3-5
“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now, if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
As we move to verse 3, a particular day is mentioned – the 10th day of the month. On the 10th day of the month the Jewish family was commanded to select a lamb for the Passover.
In verse 4 they were to select that lamb in accordance to the number of people in the household. This lamb was not to be casually selected. It was to be selected specifically considering each member of the family. It was to be selected expressly for the fact that each individual in the family was to get their share of the lamb during the Passover meal. Every individual counted and was important because the entire lamb was to be eaten at the meal. Nothing was to be left over.
The lamb was supposed to adhere to certain quality standards as well. In verse 5 it was to be unblemished. There was to be no physical fault or deformity or abnormality present. The lamb was to be a perfect specimen from the sheep or the goats.
Now, as we come to verse 6, we come to another very important day.
- Exodus 12:6
And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.
Here, the date for the sacrifice of the lamb is specified as the 14th day of the month. So, in summary here’s what the Jewish family was commanded to do. On the 10th day of the month of Nisan, the Jewish family was commanded to choose their Passover lamb. From the 10th of the month until the 14th of the month, they were to examine the selected lamb. They were to examine it thoroughly and diligently in order to ascertain that it was free from any defect of any kind. If that lamb was found worthy, if that lamb was found defect free, it was qualified to be the Passover offering.
Then on the 14th day of the month the family was to sacrifice that perfect lamb. So, the two significant days relating to Passover are the 10th of the month, when the lamb was selected and set aside to be examined. And the 14th of the month when the lamb was offered as the Passover sacrifice.
Now, let’s get back to the triumphal entry.
The significance of all this in regard to Yeshua is the fact that the triumphal entry took place on the 10th of Nisan. The Triumphal Entry marks the setting aside of the Lamb of God. On the day that the Jewish family selected their Passover lambs, God the Father also set aside His Passover Lamb. Then from the 10th day of the month until the 14th, the lamb was examined to see that it was without spot or blemish. In the same way, Yeshua, God’s Passover Lamb was examined to see if He was without spot or blemish. From the 10th to the 14th, Yeshua was examined in the Temple, by three groups of antagonistic people – the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians.
Let’s take a peek at some samples of the interrogations He endured.
And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “I will ask you on thing too, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet.” And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Here, the Chief Priests and Elders tried to find fault with his teaching and authority. They failed.
Then the Pharisees went and counseled together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is is lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” And hearing this, they marveled, and leaving Him, they went away.
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees and the Herodians tried to find fault and failed.
But when the Pharisees heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they gathered themselves together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I put thine enemies beneath Thy feet”‘? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.
Here the Pharisees try again and they’re absolutely silenced.
Yeshua emerged from His time of testing unstained and unblemished. From the 10th to the 14th of Nisan He was proven to be without blemish or defect in regard to His doctrine and His character. He was indeed, qualified to be God the Father’s perfect Passover lamb.
That’s why the Triumphal Entry is such an important event. It marks the setting aside of the true Passover Lamb just prior to Passover. But there’s a second facet to the Triumphal Entry that should capture our attention as well.
Did you notice, as we read Matthew 21 and John 12 that both accounts quoted the same prophetic section? Both accounts of the Triumphal Entry understood the event to be the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9-10.