The triumphal entry (Luke 19:28—38) presents Jesus as the one who fights against injustice. Jesus enters into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. People threw their cloaks in celebration and welcomed him with joyful shouts of praise to God. This dramatic scene – closely parallels the prophecy of Zech. 9:9, the coronation of King Solomon (1 Kgs. 1:32 – 35), and the anointing of Jehu (2 Kgs. 9:13).
Jesus’ triumphal entry signifies the rebuilding of the Nation
Prophet Zechariah (Zech. 9:9) foretold the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the nation (Zech. 1:17). Interestingly, the Messiah comes riding on a donkey. Luke tells us that Jesus specifically asked for a donkey to be brought for his entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:30—31). Thus, Luke presents Jesus as one who will rebuild the nation and restore the spiritual aspect of the Temple, which was lost during the Roman occupation.
Jesus’ triumphal entry is a fight against Injustice
The people “threw their cloaks on the colt”. This alludes to 2 Kgs. 9:13, wherein “people took their cloaks and spread them” for Jehu when he was anointed. Jehu was chosen to overthrow King Ahab (2 Kgs. 9:7) who unjustly grabbed lands that belonged to the poor. Similarly, Jesus’ procession signifies the overthrow of evil and the establishment of righteousness in the nation.
Luke also records that the people sang, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Ps.118:26; Luke 19:38). In the OT, God is depicted as the King who will fight injustice committed against the oppressed and the weak (Psalms 10:16-18). Jesus, then, is presented as the King who will fight “for and alongside the weak.”
Jesus’ triumphal entry announces peace and prosperity
Luke tells us that the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voice (Luke 19:37). This is an allusion to Solomon’s enthronement in 1 Kings 1:32-35. Back then, King Solomon was made to travel to Jerusalem. The people shouted jubilantly, “Long live King Solomon!” Solomon’s kingdom was known for peace, stability, and prosperity. Likewise, Luke presents Jesus as a King who will bring peace, stability, and prosperity to the nation.
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem must be seen in the context of God’s promise for rebuilding the nation, restoring spirituality, bringing stability to the nation, and for fighting injustice. Like Jesus, we must work towards establishing justice through positive actions and taking a stand against injustice.
Dr. Bennet Aren Lawrence is serving as the Assistant Regional Secretary of the Asia Theological Association, India.
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