The Lens of Scripture
So much Old Testament prophetic history is tucked into these verses. Jesus had carefully prepared the timing of this event, which many know as Palm Sunday. It was a week before the Passover when He would be slain as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Never before in His ministry had Jesus claimed to be King, and not even on that day, but He allowed the symbolism of riding the donkey to stimulate the Biblically literate crowd into proclaiming Him as God's King.
Jesus' choice of the donkey said He was God's King of salvation coming to Jerusalem (Zechariah 9:9), and the crowds knew it. The cloaks on the road were like Jehu's proclamation that God had appointed Him to be King (2 Kings 9:12-13); that was why the crowds gladly put their clothes into the dust: it was their proclamation. The chorus of Hosanna - meaning "save now!" - and blessings on Jesus, are from the messianic prophetic Psalm 118 (Psalm 118:24-26). The power of Scripture, embedded in their minds and hearts, enabled them to identify the truth about Jesus. None of the crowd would have anticipated that palm strewn procession a day previously, but the Word of the Lord they had learned as children rose up in their hearts - enabling them to see what they were looking at through spiritual eyes.
Through the lens of Scripture, it was so obvious that Jesus fitted the profile of God's anointed Saviour, that it was impossible to deny His identity any longer. The truth was simply bubbling to the surface; the popular acclaim was an honest response to the Word made visible (John 1:14). The big question behind much of Mark's Gospel is, "Who is this Jesus?". The answer is given on the first Palm Sunday - the King anointed by Father God to be the Saviour of His people! It was important that King Jesus was out in the open, and it was that accusation which led to His death. Jesus intended that should be so. As Paul said in Acts 26:26, nothing was 'done in a corner'.
So why are so many Christians secret about their Saviour? Are they afraid? Or is it that they have never embedded God's Word in their hearts to be the lens through which they can see the world and what God is doing in it? Or have their Christian parents ignored their responsibility to teach God's Word at home each day, as God instructed (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)? Or have they been drawn aside from trusting the God who knows the future, lured by the fashions of the day which encourage us to define and live out our chosen identity, without accepting who they are in Christ? Psalm 119 is an essential antidote, especially verse 11, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
© Dr Paul Adams