Matthew 21:1–11 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 11:1–10; Luke 19:29–38; John 12:12–15)
21 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
At this point in the book of Matthew, Jesus was nearing His passion, a period of suffering and shame that would culminate in His death on a cross. He had a keen awareness of the historical and prophetic significance of His actions over the next several days and the Scriptural prophecies were fulfilled, including this one from Isaiah 62:1 and Zechariah 9:9. Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt of a donkey was not necessarily regal, as a king might ride a white stallion. Rather, this was an expression of humility and meekness that He rode on a largely-untested humble animal for His dramatic triumphal entry. This seems to support the nature in which He accepted His fate and the work for which He was sent.
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
It is also interesting that the crowds, knowing the power and effectiveness of His ministry, thronged to the entrance to Jerusalem to welcome Him and to laud Him for His greatness. Whereas Jesus did not insist on a royal welcome, the people offered Him one anyway. The palm branches and the clothes laid on the path were emblematic of a king’s welcome, so that neither his nor his animal’s feet would have to touch the ground. This great, royal welcome fulfilled the prophetic declaration that the Messiah would enter Jerusalem as a king, right down to the call of the crowd announcing “Hosanna!” Their actions created quite a reaction among the multitudes, and the word spread of His entrance.
This most likely aroused the ire of the religious leaders who opposed Jesus, and caused the escalation that led to Jesus trial and crucifixion. This fulfillment of prophecy would precipitate the fulfillment of the greater plan of God for Jesus to die for man’s sins, the very men and women that now cried out in triumph that He had come. But also the very men and women that would eventually–in just a few days–cry for Him to be crucified. Blessed is He Who comes, no matter what His fate or the end of His days. For He Who comes in the name of the Lord does the work of the Lord, and brings salvation to the people of the Lord. Hosanna, Lord please come!
Artwork from https://dailyverses.net/2015/3/29