READ: MATTHEW 21:1-11
After Jesus was anointed in Bethany, He began to make His way to Jerusalem. It was the time of year when many came to Jerusalem in preparation for the Passover. While Jesus was indeed coming to Jerusalem for the Passover, He was there for a greater purpose.
This moment in Jesus’ life is often called the Triumphal Entry. The prophet Zechariah spoke of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey and being celebrated by the people as the King (Zechariah 9:9). And this is exactly what Jesus did. He fulfilled the prophecy as He rode into Jerusalem, being praised by crowds of people who sang praises to their coming King who would rescue them from Roman rule. At least they thought their King would save them this way.
Jesus was certainly coming to Jerusalem as a King of victory, but He was not coming as one who was overcoming the oppression of the Roman Empire, but to overcome the devil and bring victory to humanity. The crowd thought that Jesus was entering Jerusalem to set them free from political bondage, but Jesus was entering in as the King who would set all people free from the penalty and power of sin.
The people living during this time understood that it was a common practice for a king or general of the military to have a triumphal entry into the city they lived in or near. When a general or ruler of the people would win a battle against the enemy, it would be a cause for a great celebration and it would include a parade that would proceed through the city. The parade would start with the king or general riding a strong, majestic horse. Following him would be all of the treasure and spoil that was taken from the enemy. Behind the treasure, the prisoners caught in battle. Last but not least, the enemy’s king or general would be publicly humiliated before the crowd by being bound in chains and shown fully defeated.
The triumphant parade is the language used in the book of Colossians. This is the picture of what the apostle Paul said in Colossians 2:15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” What awesome power and authority that Jesus had. He came, not riding on a horse, but a donkey. Jesus entered Jerusalem, not winning a war against the political regime, but against the kingdom of darkness. Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem with full control, knowing that what He was about to do would bring victory to all who put their trust in Him.
What are you fighting in your life? Where do you need to be free? What is battling in your thoughts or your emotions? What lie is keeping you bound? Jesus has won the victory for you. The battle has been won; the devil no longer has authority over you. As the crowd praised Jesus as He rode in as a triumphant King, so you can begin to praise Him for fighting your battle and giving you the victory. Receive your freedom and victory that Jesus has already purchased fully for you.