His friends confused and anxious and the crowds pressing, He mounted the small, borrowed creature. Knowing what lay ahead—the bloody culmination of His call—His Father stayed close.
A proud PaPa, His Father regarded and guarded this one, beautiful moment when His Son would receive a fraction of the glory due His name.
Riding on a donkey with crowds spreading out their garments on the road ahead of Him. When…all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. Luke 19:37
They praised the miracles, but not the Man. Coming so close, they praised Him as King, yet He was not the kind of King they lauded. But even wrong motives can produce worthy praise.
Yet He chose connection over protection.
Knowing the contents of their collective heart, Jesus stayed fully present for the party. He didn’t back down, turn around, or chastise the cheering section. He received what they could give in the way they could give it—temporal and fleeting.
Crowds are fickle that way;
Jesus did not allow the rejection of tomorrow to cause Him to reject the love of today. Alicia Britt Chole*
This procession is classically known as the Triumphant Entry, alluding to a victory, a battle won, or a vanquishing conquest. Yet He already told His followers He was on a death march, ending in brutal execution on a Roman cross.
This triumphant entry met with a definite plot twist.
And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it… Luke 19:41
Victory marches proceed in stark contrast to donkeys, palm branches and weeping heroes. But as we’ve learned this side of history, Jesus is not the typical Victor. He didn’t lord over His enemies; He loved them to death, literally.
So why all the tears? In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus laments, “How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matt.23:37).
These are the words of a Man carrying a giant chasm for a heart with room enough for every soul who cries for mercy, whispers in anguish or silently sobs for solace.
Why did this triumphant entry end with a man hailed as King sobbing on a donkey?
HE. IS. LOVE. Not, He loves, but He is love.
How could a human carry the very substance of love as His being? Surely His physical body languished, perceiving what was, what is, and what would be for His people. How could He contain this knowledge within the confines of His flesh and not implode—ravaged with emotion, empathy personate?
What kept His skin intact when He encountered such sorrow, hopelessness, and depth of depravity? Is this why angels came to Him on at least two occasions to “strengthen Him?” Bearing the burden of omniscience in flesh is unfathomable.
Yet, He never emotionally self-protected. Only a Savior can love like that. He never shunned or judged. Even with all our inconsistencies, Jesus never shrank back.
And, He is no less moved by your needs today. His heart quickens for every hurt, unmet need, fear stockpiled, and tear shed. He keenly feels each one.
What’s holding you back? Fear, unforgiveness, hurts or hangups? How are you choosing protection over connection? He is moved by all of it and wants to heal, cleanse, release, unload, wipe away.
He cares beyond our capabilities to comprehend. Won’t you let Him? Ask Him to replace whatever you are facing with His peace, provision, protection, comfort, healing, forgiveness, wholeness?
He is waiting, and if you have asked, will you ask again today? He is not slow, but He does know the times and seasons best for healing. Don’t give up hope, throw in the towel, back down, resign, recant, or chicken out.
Ask, wait, rest, rely, abide, and then anticipate with hope and new perspective what your Savior is moved to do for you!
When Jesus saw her weeping…He was deeply moved in spirit and greatly troubled… Jn. 11:33.
*I highly recommend 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole, a Lent study for any season.