As we enter the final week of Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: Luke 19:28-40
The final journey of Jesus into Jerusalem sets the stage for His principal purpose here on Earth – the sacrifice of His life on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity. A prophesy of this journey is found in the Book of Zechariah, “Lo, your king comes to you, righteous, victorious; lowly ad riding on a donkey. He shall commend peace to the nations.” Was Jesus thinking of Zechariah’s words when He bade two of His disciples to go into the village before them and untie the unbroken young donkey and bring it for Him to ride into Jerusalem? We can only wonder. It was an ancient Eastern tradition that entering a city riding on a donkey symbolized arrival in peace, rather than an aggressive king mounted on a much more valuable horse.
It those times it was customary to cover the path in front of someone worthy of the highest honor, which is why garments were spread before Jesus’ donkey by the celebrating people lining His route, according to Luke. Matthew and Mark both cite garments being spread as well as branches cut from trees and spread before Jesus, whilst John specifically mentions palm fronds, which were a Jewish symbol of victory.
Luke paints a glorious picture of this entry into Jerusalem, with cheering and adoring crowds lining Jesus’ path to welcome Him. When some strict Pharisees grumbled to Jesus about all the noise and fuss being made by His followers, Jesus answered that the very stones would be cheering if no one else was!
This triumphant welcome to Jesus followed soon by dreadful treacheries and bestial cruelty makes me shudder. It reminds me too clearly of man’s inhumanity to man, of the dangerous inconsistencies in human nature and of how hard we must strive to follow the brave, ultimate example of Jesus. Never wavering in the face of such horror, never doubting that the path to Jerusalem and the cross which His Father had prescribed was The Way, Jesus’ journey reminds me that our own pathways may be bright and jolly as well as dark and terrible, but the love of God never fails us.
Daughters of the Holy Cross, Past President
Columbia, South Carolina
You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Evangelical Examiner, Jake Jones
- Atlanta Bible Study Examiner, Donna Sundblad
- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
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If you enjoyed this Lenten meditation, you can find more at Sharon’s Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.