It was during the reign of King David. His son Solomon was to be the king after him, but David had had many, many sons and many were the “first born” of different wives. This created challenges. One of these rose up to set up himself as the new king. He was having a celebration of sorts with his henchmen. They were shouting, using trumpets, and the word came back to David. Nathan, the prophet, and Bathsheba, remember her (?), came to him saying, “Didn’t you say, Oh King, that Solomon would be king?” And they told him what was happening.
He wasted no time in acting: “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 You shall then come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, for he shall be king in my place. And I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah” (1 Kings 1: 33-35).
Kings entered in this manner -- on a donkey, on a mule, anointed, celebrated-- and this action set in place Solomon as the next king over this usurper brother.
So, everyone there on this famous Sunday, called Palm Sunday, would have known the significance of Jesus riding into town on a donkey, they would have known the prophetic passage from Zechariah: “Look, your king will come to you. He is righteous and victorious. He is humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the offspring of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:10).
Jesus was making a direct parallel to the prophecy with this move. He planned it. After all these months of saying, “Don’t tell anyone that I am the Messiah,” now, he was announcing that very fact and the people caught it, saying “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” “Hosanna,” meaning, “God Saves!”
And this day moves from celebration to weeping, from shouts to the rebukes of the religious leaders. It was a day filled with emotion, most poignantly Jesus’ statement over this city which was missing the fact that God was entering her that day, and thereby missing the “things that make for peace.” We don’t want to miss Jesus. And that day, the city of Jerusalem did, and would pay the price.
What about you, have you opened your eyes to the way of peace? Jesus is bringing peace to you.