After visiting with Mary and Martha in Bethany, and raising their beloved brother Lazarus from the grave, Jesus, as was his custom avoided the curious crowds of Jews by retreating into the wilderness to a city called Ephraim. But shortly thereafter Jesus instructed his disciples that the time had finally come for him to go up to Jerusalem. Avoiding publicity and maintaining a distance away from Jerusalem was something that Jesus had intentionally practiced throughout his public ministry. But now just six days before the Passover, Jesus made the startling announcement that the time had come for him to actually go to Jerusalem. He even informed the disciples that the visit to the city was for the express purpose of fulfilling all the things concerning the Son of Man written by the prophets. Still they could not comprehend the gravity of the impending journey up to the Holy City. For in reality, the supernatural conflict of the ages was about to be fought on the earthly stage of Jerusalem! “The Lord Hath Need of Him”
Luke 18:31-34 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
Sadly the disciples could not apprehend the reason that Jesus had decided to embark upon this sudden journey to Jerusalem. Surely, they were probably just much overjoyed at the mere prospect of sojourning in the Holy City during Passover, and never gave much thought to the consequences of that visitation. Indeed, when Jesus referred to the “Son of Man” being subjected to unspeakable brutality in the city, and conveyed the fact that in the aftermath of the weeks sojourn, he would be put to death in Jerusalem, they all without a single exception were unable to discern the spiritual impact of the timing of this visit, nor could they remotely understand the mission for which Jesus chose to go up to Jerusalem. I Peter 1:19-21 conveys that Jesus knew his mission beforehand, and was steadfastly affixed on a course for its completion at this specific time. Jesus had invariable avoided this visit and delayed it until this very occasion. Indeed, just 3 days later, Jesus would be questioned by Pilate in this manner:
John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Jesus went up to Jerusalem on a mission! For every mission there is a way to get there! A successful mission on this trip to Jerusalem would fashion a way for all of humanity to travel to Heaven. With that in mind, Jesus gave instructions for two of his disciples to prepare the logistics for an event that has become prophetically typecast as the symbolic forerunner of “Jesus Triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem”.
There is recorded in the Gospels of Matthew 21:2-7, Mark 11:2-7 and yet again in Luke 19:29-34 an account of our Lords instruction for two of his disciples to obtain a colt for him to ride down into the city of Jerusalem. Their acquisition of that donkey is cloaked in symbolism, and quite literally bespeaks of another ride Jesus must have focused on as he contemplated his ride into Jerusalem.
Luke 19:29-34 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
In this passage of scripture we find our Lord requiring the services of a donkey. How the Lord knew of the whereabouts of this particular colt is unknown. Perhaps in his travel in and around the vicinity of Bethany Jesus had encountered someone who had offered him the use of this colt. Undoubetdly Jesus had traveled many miles on foot, and perhaps after some miraculous deed of love performed, someone offered him the use of an animal to ride to ease the strain from his many bone-weary travels. Whatever the case, it seems apparent that Jesus continued to travel on foot until this particular week. Now, at this point in ime he wished to ride. This colt had never been ridden before, and perhaps Jesus foresaw the journey ahead, of not only traveling up the hills toward Jerusalem, but also of ascending the hill of Golgotha, and thus decided to lessen his physical burden in making the trip. The fact that the colt had never been ridden before symbolizes the fact that the road that Jesus was going to travel to Jerusalem and eventually up to Calvary was a trip that had never been undertaken by anyone else before! He and he alone could make this ride! And very likely Jesus could look down the corridors of time toward his second visitation to the city of Jerusalem, and thus decided to portray to the world the fact that he was coming humbly, as a Lamb into Jerusalem this time. Perhaps he wished to demonstrate to Israel and the whole world that his mission to Jerusalem on this occasion was to offer his own body as the only means of traveling up to the New Jerusalem. Perhaps Jesus wished to portray that his first visit to Jerusalem would be dramatically different from the next time he would travel down to Jerusalem! He must have held that scene steadfast in his heart and mind as he contemplated an approach to the city.
His imminent ride upon the back of a donkey into the city of Jerusalem had been foretold by the prophet Zechariah 700 years earlier.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
So, we can deduce very clearly from Zechariah's prophecy that the rider of the donkey
would humbly present himself as the prophesied King of Israel. The majestic grandstand for ancient Kings when they made an entry into any arena was to ride astride a stout white stallion in order to present themselves in all their glory and splendor. History is replete with the artistically conveyed majesty of a mighty king sitting atop a glorious white horse after a fierce but victorious battle. Napoleon and George Washington are just some examples of the mighty men of battle who are personified as mighty warriors sitting upon a white horse. General Allenby of Great Britain reportedly dismounted from his horse before entering the city of Jerusalem after the British conquest of that city in World War I. General Allenby apparently sensed the significance of the true King of Israel having to submit himself to riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. He honored the memory of that donkey ride by Jesus by walking into the city, rather than riding victoriously into Jerusalem. Jesus came riding upon a donkey because he came presenting himself as the lamb of Salvation. He came lowly, not as a conquering military general, but as the meek, just, and humble sacrificial Lamb of God. It was his mission. It was for a specific purpose. He accomplished that mission in his own death.
As I pay close attention to the direct detail of Jesus in the instructions that he gave to his disciples for acquiring this colt, I am struck by the specific command that he informed them to give the stable hosts where the colt was tied. The disciples were told that if anyone asked why they were loosing the colt and why they were taking him to respond to them with this answer:
Truly it must have been that the owner and workers of the estate where the donkey was kept knew the Lord! They surely knew that Jesus would soon require the use of the donkey. Apparently, Jesus had informed the owner-keepers of the donkey that he would send for the colt at an appointed time. Upon the Disciples response to the owners of the colt, the owners forthwith had no more questions, and immediately allowed the two disciples to take the donkey away. There is a lesson of value in the owner's response, and in the Disciples answer. If our Lord has need of anything we have, including our selves, we should submit it to his mission! The Lord had need of the donkey. If the Lord can use a donkey, can he not use you and me? Isn't it wonderful that the owners of the donkey did not refuse Jesus the use of the donkey?
Thus it came to be that Jesus Christ had the use of a donkey to ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. That event has been cast in glorious splendor for all these many centuries and throughout the coming ages. The Triumphal Entry depicts beautifully the mission of Christ, and it stands as a wondrous reminder of the day when Jesus will have need of another animal to ride into Jerusalem. This time however he will have need of the most majestic and valiant White Horse the world has ever seen. This time he will not be bone-weary and struggling up towards Golgotha's Hill. This time his heart will not be burdened with the weight of offering himself as a sacrificial Lamb for lost sinners. That victory is forever won! This time he will come as a conquering King! This time he will come to wage war on a Christ-rejecting world that has aligned itself fore-square with the armies of Antichrist, all of whom oppose his right to reign in Jerusalem!
Revelation 19:11-14 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a “White Horse”; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon “white horses”, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
As I listen to God's beckoning instructions within my heart and watch closely the signs of his imminent return, I can't help but reflect on the scene at the stable-place where the donkey was kept for the Lord. While watching the unfolding signs surrounding the re-gathered nation of Israel and intently watching the gathering storm clouds over the city of Jerusalem, I cannot help but sense a distinct command being issued at this very moment near the portals of Heaven. In the pit of my soul it seems that I can hear a call going forth from the cavalry of Angels assembled near Heavens stable-gate. Two angels have been sent to secure a White Horse. In another echo, I hear a question…”Why are you taking the White Horse”? And in the most dramatic tone the answer echoes back in my ears, an answer reverberating around the halls of Heaven in anticipation of the coming Day of the Lord.
“The Lord Hath Need of Him”
And at any moment now, I expect to be caught away to meet the Lord in the air. Then in glorious array he will gather together the armies of the saints of the ages, and after a brief interlude in Heaven, the gates shall swing open wide, and we shall all come riding forth on white horses behind him.
Jude 1:14-15 Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon “white horses”, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
It is at that prodigious moment in time that Jesus Christ will ride forth at the front of his heavenly army leading them down into the direction of the city of Jerusalem. After demolishing the armies of Antichrist that Satan has recruited to confront him on the field of battle, he will prepare to ride once again into the city of Jerusalem. It is for this occasion that Jesus was born into the world. It was for the this occasion that Jesus announced unto his Disciples his return mission to the world. It is for this mission that he has need of a White Horse!
The victorious processional parade into Jerusalem will find Jesus Christ riding atop a White Horse, victorious over death, victorious in battle, and riding with the full regalia of a Mighty Kings Majesty into the city of God. The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ will herald in the reality of a millennium of righteousness. Jesus Christ will rule with a rod of iron and his law shall go forth to all nations from his throne situated on Mount Zion in Jerusalem!
Micah 4:1-3 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lordshall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
“All Hail to the Mighty King”
who comes riding riding unto Jerusalem,
He has visited us once before riding on a dusty old donkey, but he shall return the second time in honor and valor riding upon a mighty White Horse!
Author: Darrell G. Young
Artwork compliments of : Revelation Illustrated