Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 2, 2023

two intents

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus had a plan. There were two things He’d accomplish by day’s end. As He and His companions drew near to Jerusalem, He chose two to go and participate in the first one – the fulfillment of an extremely specific prophecy. Jesus gave two of His disciples explicit instructions that are so familiar to us but must have been such a mystery to them. They were to retrieve a colt.

This seemingly odd ask would allow the fulfillment of a prophecy found in the writings of Zechariah (9:9). Humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey is how Jesus would enter Jerusalem at the beginning of a purposed week and walk toward His singular purpose in becoming one of us. There was another thing that was on His agenda before the sun set … He would steal away midday to observe the state of his Father’s house. At the beginning of this sacred Sunday, Jesus had clear intent.

I’ve tried to conjure the scene of that day: the throngs of people lining the entrance to the city and its inner streets; the buzz of the mass of festival pilgrims and city dwellers alike, eager for the arrival of their savior (little “s” deliberately denoted). I would suggest those gathered also had clear intent that day. They’d poured out onto the streets to laud or, perhaps, join the one they believed could and would deliver them from the brutal oppression that was breaking their backs. I am sure some were just curious or caught up in the fuss, but I expect many were primed to follow Jesus, proud and mounted on a war horse, intent to march right up to the seat of power and break the bondage of His people. But that wasn’t how He arrived, nor where He went. Their two intents were diametrically opposed, Jesus and the crowd.

He allowed the laud, but neither the groundswell nor its desire were on His agenda. While the people shouted, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” (Mark 11:10 – ESV), their true King rode purposely toward his Father’s house. And as Jesus often stole away to pray, today He slipped away to take time to examine closely where the people did. The temple was to be that place, but there were parts that had become something altogether different. It was time for close examination. Consequence would have to wait one more sunrise.

The day was intense and marked by two disparate intents. It was an altogether different bondage that Jesus had come to break, and the means He’d use were as far apart from what was in the hearts of the people than the east is from the west. There was a remnant that had joined Him, and the invitation they received is the same one with which He beckons us today. Come. Follow. Join the redemptive work I Am doing.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: