The Triumphal Entry is important, being mentioned in all four Gospels. But why? Well, for one, it fulfills OT prophecy. Jesus rode into town on a donkey and Zechariah predicted Messiah would do this. The crowds were enthusiastic in their welcome of Jesus.
Secondly, the Feast of Passover would soon take place. This was the most important of all the Feasts.
Thirdly, it comes on the heels of raising Lazarus, and who wouldn’t want to see and chat with a man who raised from the dead, John 12:9.
He had the crowds in his right hand.
But Jesus enters the Temple, looks around and leaves, Mark 11:11. What? Are you kidding me? You have the crowds on your side. The Disciples surely were high-fiving each other. He had the momentum. How easy it would have been for him to declare Himself the King of the Jews.
But I do not think this is what He had in mind. You see this was not triumph, but a test. A test? In what way was this a test?
In order to understand what this was all about we must go back to the OT. Look at Exodus 12:1-6 where God institutes the Passover to celebrate their emancipation from Egypt. Look at verse 10, “on the tenth of this month (Nisan) they are each one to take a lamb for themselves….” Read on, “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male.” They were supposed to keep it for four days (the fourteenth of Nisan) then kill it at twilight, verse 6. Now the question is why keep it for four days? I think they had to insure it was in truth, unblemished. (This word “occurs in various forms and functions more than 200x in the OT, conveying the meaning of that which is complete, blameless, just, honest, perfect, peaceful, etc.; hence an attribute or an attitude that reflects genuineness and reliability.” (NIDOTTE). They had to test the lamb for four days to verify it was unblemished.
Now here is where it gets cool. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the tenth day of Nisan. He was arrested and killed on the 14th day of Nisan. And He was tested for four days by four groups of people.
Dr Arnold Fructenbaum rightly says,” The purpose of the Triumphal Entry was not so much to present Himself as King of the Jews, for He had already done that. The purpose was to set Himself aside as the Lamb of God. From the tenth day of the month until the fourteenth day of the month, He was tested by four groups: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and Herodians. After their testing showed Him to be “without spot and without blemish,” He was qualified to be the final Passover sacrifice.” (The Feasts of Israel)
This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we examine the four tests demonstrating Jesus was the Last Lamb, and why he ate the Last Passover (not supper) with His disciples. And the blessed significance of this for us.
See you Sunday!