Palm Sunday procession- Proclamation of Jesus’ kingship

See, your king comes to you… riding on a donkey.” Zechariah 9: 9

In ancient days after winning a war, the victorious king would often take a procession in the capital city of the defeated nation. This is to proclaim the defeat of the incumbent king and to establish and install the new king over the kingdom. Looking at the jubilant procession, people would know that this is their new king.

This custom is practiced when a prince succeeds his father as the next king. King David while making his son, Solomon, king over Israel, tells the priest, “have Solomon my son, mount my own mule, and take him down to Gihon… [and] anoint him king over Israel” (1 Kings 1: 33 & 34). A procession on the royal mule surrounded by the priest, prophet and other trusted aides of the king, was a sign to the people that it was king David who made his heir, Solomon, the new king.

We see the same phenomenon when Joseph was installed as the second-in-command of Egypt. “Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger… He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command” (Gen 41: 42 & 43). When Mordecai was honoured by the king, he was taken in a similar procession in the king’s horse around the city (Esther 6: 8).

A royal procession is a sign of authority and is done with the intent to establish authority.

Jesus seems to be doing the same thing on his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He had been to Jerusalem before, but this time He had a decisive plan – a plan to fulfil the purpose for which He came to earth. He purposively travels to Jerusalem and asks His disciples to find a donkey (Matt 21: 2). He rides on the donkey surrounded by the disciples. Then the crowd which accepted His proclamation as King, joined Him in the chorus to sing – “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matt 21: 9).

But sadly, this proclamation elicited a mute response from those who were in power. They plotted to kill Him and rebelled against His kingship.

His disciples were not very far from misunderstanding Jesus’ kingship. They failed to understand the true nature of His kingship. They were expecting Jesus to overpower the Romans. But Jesus was on a kingly procession only to be crucified, so that He could save mankind from the clutches of sin.

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Day 236

by Rev Joel Yong

Jonah 4:9-11
Then God asked Jonah, “What right do you have to be angry over this plant?” Jonah answered, “I have every right to be angry–so angry that I want to die.” The LORD replied, “This plant grew up overnight and died overnight. You didn’t plant it or make it grow. Yet, you feel sorry for this plant. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for this important city, Nineveh? It has more than 120,000 people in it as well as many animals. These people couldn’t tell their right hand from their left.”

Jonah was unhappy that God changed his mind about judgment upon Nineveh.

Maybe he felt it was a loss of face because what he proclaimed, was now not going to happen.

Maybe he hated the Ninevites so much that he wanted them dead.

You will note that if Jonah were a movie script- the majority of screen time and character development is devoted to Jonah and not the Ninevites!

The book of Jonah is really about an errant prophet with deep issues that he needs fixing in! The Ninevites are just an additional plot development that contributes to the focus upon the main character!

But note that there is no conclusion at the end of Jonah about how he responded to God’s words here.
Did he learn the lesson God was trying to teach him?

Its deliberately left open ended because that is the same question the writer of Jonah is asking the readers … “Do you get the lesson God is teaching here, in the book of Jonah for your own life?”

What would your response be?