“When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.” Mark 11:1 – 6)
Lately I have been enjoying turning scripture around and seeing it from another perspective. What a gift Jesus gave his disciples to have them step out in faith. What might appeared as stealing was actually Jesus opening up the opportunity for both his disciples and the owners of the colt to be a part of a grander plan. Consider beloved reader – there were strong rules of about stealing in Jesus’ time. Remember Jesus was crucified between two thieves. What a test of faith! And both parties past the test admirably!!
“Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” (Verses 7 – 11)
Again, there was extended an invitation to become a part of a celebration, and the ordinary cities of Jerusalem rose to the occasion. Surely some of the crowd that lined the way into Jerusalem knew that Jesus was not popular or condoned by the Jewish leaders. But the swell of the crowd over rode the disdain that Jesus had generated in some quarters. The gospel of John adds some narrative and fulfilling of scripture.
“The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord– the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.” ( John 12:12 – 16)
After the event of the glorious entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, the disciples were enthused and pleased, I am sure, that Jesus was so welcomed. But in the days and week that followed, that joyful entry became a mockery of how the Jewish leaders condemned Jesus to death. But, beloved reader, when accepting and following the call of the Divine we can assured that all will turn out well. If our intentions are pure and honest, we will not be censured. If our joy and celebration are well placed, the positive feeling of the moment will carry us through dark times. And in hide sight we see that it was meant to be.
Ride with good intentions and honest, joy and celebration into the final week of Lent – confident that all will be well in the end. Shalom & Selah!