After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. (Luke 19:28-35)
It’s the first Palm Sunday, and a lot happens in the coming week. First Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you righteous and victorious lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus emerges from the Mount of Olives through the door of His church humbly riding on the colt of a donkey. He rides to the altar and looks for His beloved to join him. He’s ready to serve his beloved in unimaginable ways but needs his beloved to serve him too. He needs disciples to travel to the village ahead, disciples to work to untie the colt, disciples to give up their donkey and trust Jesus to return it, and disciples to improvise. They didn’t have expensive cloth to drape the donkey or a red carpet for Jesus to travel on, so the disciples used their cloaks to drape the donkey and line the path.
In the search for His beloved, he shows his kingdom isn’t one of splendor but one of humbleness and servanthood, qualities of a perfect leader. During the search, He conquers hearts, not nations. The search is painful and requires His life. He doesn’t find the perfect bride but transforms those who are willing to repent into His beloved. To those willing to change and shepherd, He will give rewards. Beyond Luke, he exits the doors of his church at the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12), ascending into heaven to provide a path for his beloved to follow.
During this first Holy Week Jesus asks, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” It’s a realization His heart must change. It does, and if we follow His example, we can change our hearts and lives too.
Dearest Father in Heaven, thank you for Jesus. Help me learn from Jesus, and see how His heart changes, so I can change mine too. Help me love, travel, work, give, trust, and improvise so I can serve in Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.