John 12:12-19- The Triumphal Entry

Explanation- Here we come to what is commonly known as Christ’s triumphal entry. From all appearances it would seem that our King was entering Jerusalem in triumph. The people celebrated Jesus and waved palmed branches as He valiantly rode in on the donkey. This is in stark contrast to their cries of ‘crucify Him’ that would be heard in the days following. This event is, ‘unlike anything else recorded of Him’, declares Ryle. For, ‘Hitherto we have seen Him withdrawing as much as possible from public notice, retiring into the wilderness, and checking those who would have brought Him forward, and made Him a King.’[1] Why the drastic change in conduct? What had changed? I would concur with Pastor Ryle that it is because Christ’s time had now come. He was about to complete the task He had set out to accomplish. The crucifixion and glorious resurrection was at hand and it was time for Christ to be revealed for who He truly was.

Also, it cannot be overlooked the detail to which Christ took in fulfilling the prophesies concerning Himself. He comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. This was a direct fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 which foretold this very same thing! Despite this obvious sign that the people should have been familiar with, we are told that His disciples did not understand these things at first. It was not until Christ was glorified that they were given understanding on these matters. Despite the lack of understanding that seemed to be widespread, it was quite obvious that Christ had amassed a large following. So large that even the Pharisees claimed that the world had gone after Him. It is amazing to think that it would only be a few short days before this same crown would turn their backs on Him and call out for His crucifixion.

Applications- Although this entry was indeed glorious in its own right, let us not forget that bloodshed and death were on the horizon. Surely Christ was and is the King of glory, the only begotten Son of God, and the Mighty Savior of the world and for a time, the people were willing to treat Him as such. But even Christ was betrayed and abandoned. This is a good reminder for us to be on guard when all speak well of us. Surely we do not want to cause unnecessary offence, but the truth is that the world cannot love us, at least not for long. Much like our Lord we are called to suffer, and this suffering is for His name sake. Let us seek to be at peace with all men, but when men rise up against us let it not take us by surprise. For even our Lord was turned on by those who gave Him praise and spoke well of Him. Shall we who are His servants expect a better lot?

[1] Ryle, J. C. Expository Thoughts on John (volume 2). Place of Publication Not Identified: Banner of Truth Trust, 2012, 234.