The Final Week: Sunday 29th March, AD 33
(Mt 21:1-17; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:29-44; Jn 12:12-36)
It’s during the Passover celebrations when Jesus enters Jerusalem. By this time, he is famous. A young, incredibly wise, itinerant healing rabbi was coming. He gets on a donkey and rides into Jerusalem with crowds acknowledging him as the one who would be like King David (Mt 21:9). They are expecting political, military and social revolution. Here comes the one who will take us out from under the rule of the Romans and who will return Israel to it’s former glory!
As Jesus enters Jerusalem in this way, he effectively determines his own fate. This is tantamount to a revolution, and Jesus is the figurehead. It‘s either rule or ruin for him as far as everyone else is concerned, and for the Romans, there can be no other king than Caesar.
Jesus lets some of them in on his plan. “I’m not coming to rule now. I’m coming to die. This is why I came in the first place.” (Jn 12:27). He even predicts how he will be killed (Jn 12:32, c.f. Is 52:13). But, his death is the very means by which he will rule and by which Satan will be defeated (Jn 12:31). This contradicts the beliefs of many who were believing for the Messiah to come, because no one believed that their Messiah was just going to die. They believed for a triumphant ruler for Israel!