During His ministry Jesus uses only two modes of transportation, foot and boat. When He is on land, Jesus always uses foot. I have to qualify this because when Jesus is on water He mostly uses boat but occasionally uses foot as well. Jesus has walked all the way to Jerusalem and now, just prior to entering the city, He sends His disciples to fetch a donkey. Jesus isn’t tired. He is making a statement.
Imagine a young man in a long distance relationship going to meet her parents for the first time. Twenty miles outside of the city he parks his rust bucket lemon and rents a car that says intelligent and safe, being sure to conceal the green Enterprise logo. What is doing? He wants to make a statement, but it’s a false one. Or consider the teenager who rents or borrows the expensive ride for a formal. Likewise, a statement is being made and that statement is, “Me!” Jesus rides into town to make a statement, but unlike my examples, Jesus isn’t being deceptive, nor is He being shallow and vain. He is being humble. Jesus is saying He is King, but He is a humble King. He has come to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.
None are ever so humble, yet none are ever so kingly. Don’t miss the Lion for the Lamb. Say that when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 she went with the intent to make her a United States territory. The American flag was raised, the pledge now their pledge, the president now their president. Weeks in Qusay Hussein strolls into town with a motorcade, with red, black, and white flags waving, and crowds shouting, “Save us! Allah bless the son of Sadam.” Even if the followthrough is laughable, such actions wouldn’t be taken lightly.
What is the charge that the Pharisees charge Jesus with in their own courts? Blasphemy. But what charge do they bring before Pilate? Insurrection. Jesus previously used smoke when He came to Jerusalem (John 7:1-11), but now He grabs the bee hive, shakes it up, and spreads His arms to accept the stings.
The crowds see a war horse where there is a donkey. Indeed Zechariah 9 speaks of Jesus defeating our foes. The irony is that Jesus as He comes humbly, mounted on a donkey will defeat our greatest foes. The Lion as Lamb delivers, saves, and conquerors. Hosanna!