The Triumphal Entry, retold in story form through the eyes of Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. This is loosely based on Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:28-44.
My heart was swelling with such pride as the dirt caked more and more on my tired feet. The sun was beating down, but I could barely feel the ache from its heat. Three years we had been walking with Jesus, and I had seen more in those three years than in the whole of my life put together.
Just a few days earlier we were at Zaccheus’s house. A known tax collector who had just given away half his possessions and heaps and heaps of money because he found Jesus. It has been unbelievable the things we have seen and done while following Jesus.
I was at the back of the group, but I looked through everyone and saw Jesus near the front. He was chatting with my brother, Peter, about something. I paused in my stride to take in that moment. The everyday, nothing miraculous happening, just walking and talking with the Messiah kind of moment. I smiled because there was no way I would have ever guessed my life would end up here, yet it had.
One day you’re going to work, catching some fish, and the next thing you know a Rabbi is calling you from the shore to come and follow Him. It was such a shocking moment for Peter and me, but without hesitation (that was mostly Peter; he was always doing stuff like that) we left it all and never looked back.
“Hey, Andrew. Can you come up here?” Jesus was calling me. I snapped out of my daydream and ran up to where He was.
“Yes, Lord,” I said.
“You and Peter, go to the village just ahead, and right as you enter, you’ll see a colt tied there that’s never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me. If anyone asks what you are doing just say ‘The Lord needs it,’ and you’ll be fine.”
Peter and I set off at once, jogging ahead of everyone else. Jesus was always giving us weird stuff to do like that. At first, it was unsettling, but you get used to it, and you really start to trust the things He says. They may sound strange, but they’ll make sense later.
We entered the village, and just as Jesus had said, there was a colt tied at the first house we came to. We used to ask ourselves, “How can He know such things?” but we have since stopped. He had proven over and over again that He truly is the Son of God, and the Son of God knows things. Like where never-before-ridden-colts are tied up.
I chuckled to myself as we began untying the rope. Just at that moment, the man living in the home came outside.
“What are you doing? Where are you taking my colt?”
I looked at Peter. He smiled broadly and said, “The Lord needs it.”
For a second the man seemed startled, and I wondered how he may respond. He looked at us, then at the donkey, said “okay,” and went back inside.
With colt in tow, we jogged back to the group farther down the road.
We were just outside of Jerusalem now, and I began to feel a sense of excitement. I didn’t know exactly what was coming, but entering the Holy City with Jesus always carried a sacred excitement.
As we were walking closer to the city, Matthew and Philip took off their cloaks and placed them on the colt and helped Jesus climb on top. He went a few paces farther and stopped. We gathered around Him, and He began to weep. I looked from Him to the city and back again. His heart was absolutely breaking.
He looked up and said, “How I wish you knew today what would bring you peace! But you can’t see. Days will come when your enemies will build up a siege ramp, and you will be surrounded and contained on every side. Your enemies will smash you into rubble and not leave one stone standing on another, and they will cut your children down, too, because you did not recognize the day when God’s Anointed One visited you.”
Most of us were silent as we tried to understand what He was saying. I could hear Bartholemew and Thomas whispering trying to figure out what he meant. I had stopped doing that. I had come to realize that I couldn’t figure Him out.
He and the colt walked ahead of us and through the gates of the city.
We followed Jesus into Jerusalem, and a crowd began to form on either side of the street. The crowds were larger than usual since people had come to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover, so the street was growing more congested by the minute! People were buzzing about telling others to come and see Jesus as He entered the city. There had never been a reception like this that I had ever heard of. It was incredible. People were throwing their cloaks on the ground in front of us as we walked through. They were cutting down palm branches and throwing those, too.
As we walked along, we let the space between us and Jesus get larger and larger. This was all about Him, and we definitely did not want to be a focus for anyone.
“Hosanna” began ringing out as people were cheering. They were shouting it from their doorsteps, their windows, and the streetside.
“Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
It was overwhelming to see so many people acknowledging who He was. Several in our group started laughing at the sheer joy in that moment. Only Kings were greeted this way, and it seemed as though people were finally realizing who Jesus was. Joy began to swell in my heart as I looked at the faces of the people as we passed. They were beaming with so much light as they proclaimed “Hosanna” over and over to Jesus as He passed through.
It felt climactic in a way. I couldn’t see exactly what we had come to Jerusalem for. It was more than the Passover somehow, yet I couldn’t quite see what it was. As I looked ahead to Jesus, however, I knew deep within my spirit that He knew.
He knew exactly why He had come.
The story will continue in the timeline of the original events. For the next segment in the story, be sure to read “An Unlikely Intent: A False Friend Exposed.”
Featured Image by jozefklopacka