Several years ago, we planted fruit trees on the farm, and in the past two years, we’ve added blackberry and blueberry bushes. We are still waiting on those fruit trees to really start producing, but the berry bushes are doing great. There is nothing better than a fresh, sweet, yet a little tart, blackberry! And you have to pick them when they are just right.
Shaun and I were out gathering berries one evening and I noticed several in the bowl that still had red on them.
“These aren’t quite ready yet.”
Confused, he said, “they look good to me.”
So, I showed him the slight reddish/purple color in the sunlight.
“They need more time to ripen. They are almost ready.”
So, what did we do? We watched those berries. Not like all day, but we were now looking for the day they would be ready. It was like a sweet promise and we were waiting for just the right moment when they reached the point of perfection.
All eyes were now on the berries.
“And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:1-11)
There is so much to unpack in this tiny portion of scripture! Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of both Isaiah and Zechariah in this one action. He chose to come in on a donkey instead of a horse. Why? Because a horse would have signified a king of war, but a donkey signified peace. And in this very moment, He declared He was the King, just as the scriptures told.
The people shouted, “Hosanna!” which means “save us”. They were oppressed by the Roman government. They were tired of being in bondage. They wanted freedom! They wanted to reign with the King! They wanted revenge! They wanted rescuing now!
They didn’t quite grasp what Jesus was really showing. He was declaring He was the king of peace and the salvation He offered wasn’t in the form of revenge or war.
As we dig just a little deeper, we find something interesting in this passage, something I’ve missed before. The scripture says they were close to Jerusalem. The name of the town literally means “peace”. What a perfect place for the Lord to declare Who He was! But let’s look at Bethphage. This little town where He instructs the disciples to go and fetch the donkeys. Bethphage means “house of unripened figs”.
And what do we do when we know fruit isn’t quite ready? We watch. We wait. Anticipation grows. All eyes are focused.
The time was drawing near. It was one week before Jesus would be crucified. It was almost time, but not quite. But now, all eyes were on Him. Waiting. Watching. Anticipation growing for what their King would do. And He gave them the best picture: a humble entry, riding on a donkey, declaring He was the King of Peace offering salvation to those that would believe.
And now, as we draw closer to our Lord’s return, all eyes are focused.
Will you be ready for His return? He is patiently waiting for you to surrender your heart to Him. Cry out for Hosanna, for Salvation Now! The King is coming!