vv. 1 - 7 The tale of the triumphal entry is replete with enormous meaning. The preparation suggested by Jesus is an indicator of the great eminence of the rider on the donkey who rode into the city of Jerusalem, the place of such importance in the divine plan of salvation. Jesus had a plan of his own before he filled Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9: 9-12). Two of his disciples were assigned to go to a village to take charge of a colt that bear the Lord into the capital city of Judah. Jesus had already made arrangements for the donkey to be available. It was his donkey. He could say that no-one else had ever ridden it. Now he needs it in the carrying out of his great salvific assignment. It will be returned to its breeders in due course.
We can imagine Jesus acquainting himself with this beast of burden so that on the day he calls for it and sits upon it the ass will be familiar with Messiah and not buck or shy away. Tender, kindly hands will control and guide the animal along the appointed way of its historic journey. The carers of the colt knew the code word for its release to the disciples. “The Lord needs it.” They were sympathetic friends of Jesus. No essential detail in Jesus’ plan was overlooked. On delivery the disciples threw their cloaks over the back of the donkey for the Lord’s comfort and stability as Jesus rode astride the creature on this significant occasion.
vv. 8 - 11 As Jesus made his progress to the city limits crowds of onlookers formed and many spread their cloaks and branches fresh from the fields before Jesus as he wended his way forward. A swell of enthusiasm greeted him, and the people shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” Hosanna is the plea “to save now”. The people on the roadside had witnessed and heard of the great deeds performed by Jesus. Many had apprehended the prophetic importance of Jesus, and some had confessed him in the highest terms: Lord! Inaugurator of the coming kingdom foreshadowed in David’s dynasty. Hosanna in the highest! Before us is the bearer, the great undertaker, of God’s covenant saving purpose for his people.
These folk could hardly have been so fickle and treacherous as to call for Christ’s crucifixion a few days later. Like all communities there are persons of different type and divisions occur among them. The folk who bayed for Jesus’ death were motivated differently to the citizens and visitors to Jerusalem piously dedicated to the observance of Passover. Enemies of the Lord were able to stir up their supporters. Jesus knew the leading suspects and surveyed the temple. He knew the authorities were dangerously biased against him. He was pondering his destiny soon to be manifested in the very near violent and unjust future.