joy 30 day devotional through the gospel of luke

Luke 19:28–40 (NLT) After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. 36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on March 30, 33 A.D.—the exact day that Daniel had predicted more than 500 years before (see Daniel 9:24-27).  

He rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9). 

The King rode into Jerusalem as they shouted, “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

Since these believers were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, this Passover song (part of the Hallel) was on their hearts, so they sang, 

Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord” (Psalm 118:25–26). 

What joy filled their hearts!  Jesus’ followers (called “disciples” in the Greek text) were celebrating the coming King.  The King was here to rid them of Rome’s pagan rule and establish His Kingdom as the heir to David’s throne.  He was their Redeemer, their Deliverer, the Savior, their King.  Excitement filled the air.  

I remember a time when our city was filled with joy and excitement.  It during 1999 Billy Graham Crusade.  It was held in the Hoosier Dome (RCA Dome) for five nights.  I had the privilege to serve as co-chair of Counseling and Follow-Up for that crusade.  This is the only time in my 32 years as a pastor that I saw the churches truly working together for one purpose:  to see that people heard the salvation of the Lord.

But there is a day coming when Jerusalem and the whole world will shout and sing these words again when Jesus returns to Jerusalem down the slopes of the Mount of Olives to take His rightful place as King of Kings.  We will join in with the whole city and the whole world to say, “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai = Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!”  How I long to say those words!

So What?  Try to describe what you might be experiencing when Jesus returns to Jerusalem as King to rule our broken world.

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