When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” (Mark 11:7-10).
He knew. Jesus knew not to place his trust in people because he understood what was inside of people (John 2:24). He knew that people were fickle. They could cry out, “Hosanna!” one day, then cry out, “Crucify him!” a week later.
He knew. He knew that as he entered into Jerusalem with cries of adulation by an overjoyed crowd that those shouts of praise were short-lived. He had warned all along his journey to Jerusalem that the religious leaders would reject him, the people who gathered at the cross would ridicule him while he died, and his Father would resurrect him on the third day to the surprise of everyone, even his closest friends who had forsaken him (Mark 8:31-33; 9:30-31; 10:32-34).
He knew that his closest disciples would fall asleep on him as he prayed. He knew that his band of apostles would all abandon him and run away when the soldiers arrested him. He knew Judas would betray him. He knew that he would face the torture of his trials alone. He knew that he would endure the humiliation and ridicule of the cross all by himself.
He knew. What’s more, he had the power to prevent it. He had the might to stop it. He had the strength to avoid it.
He knew, yet he chose the cross. He chose that cross so we would realize that his love could reach us no matter how we had abandoned him. He accepted that cross so we could receive his grace no matter how badly we had fallen. He knew and willed himself to go to that cross to buy our freedom from sin, death, and hell as he served and saved us (Mark 10:45).
He knew. And now, so do we. We know that God loved us so much that he would not have eternity without us. We know that Jesus loved us so much he entered the world just as we do, born of a woman so that when our life is over, we could share an immortal body like his and share in his victory.
He knew so we could comprehend:
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
He knew, yet Jesus chose the cross for us.
Over the next few days, we will take a journey with Jesus. We will remember his journey from his triumphal entry to his conflicts in the Temple and his private moments of prayer in the garden. We will walk with Jesus through his betrayal by Judas, onto his denial by Peter, and then to his abandonment by his apostles. We will walk with Jesus through his illegal trials before Jewish and Roman leaders until we ultimately arrive at the cross where Jesus will be murdered before a bloodthirsty and mocking mob. As Jesus makes this journey, let's remember…
Jesus knew, yet chose it all, for you and for me!