1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.(Mark 11:1-11)
Theme: If not You, then Who?
As we have done in prior years, this final week of our journey is dedicated to a close inspection of Jesus during the final days of his earthly mission. Even after years of performing this close inspection, we have only scratched the surface of the lessons available from Jesus. I hope you are as excited as I am to see what God has in store for us.
We will start with the popular story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on the Sunday before Good Friday. One of the special aspects of the triumphal entry is the public declaration of Jesus’ identity. Jesus actively orchestrates this declaration by instructing two of His disciples to bring Him the colt on which He will enter Jerusalem as the messiah. There had been notable declarations of Jesus’ identity before this occasion. For example, God the Father declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Also, when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?”, Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” However, before Palm Sunday there is no recording of a mass declaration of Jesus’ identity. In fact, after Peter’s response, Jesus admonished the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the messiah. No such prohibition occurred on Palm Sunday though and Jesus’ identity as the messiah was on full display.
Our God is intentional. It is not an accident that this momentous week starts with Jesus revealing to the masses that He is the messiah and the lamb of God. As we seek to advance God’s kingdom, we must stay true to the identity of Jesus described in the Bible. We must vigorously guard against the kind of misidentification that occurs when we create a Jesus to suit our needs, as the crowd in Jerusalem did. In addition, we must confidently declare our identity in Christ.
Please prayerfully read the passage above and answer the question below.
What are your reflections on the power of Jesus’s identity and our identity in Him?