Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ride On, Ride On in Majesty! (from the archives)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zech. 9:9

Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty!
Words by Henry Milman

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strowed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
The winged squadrons of the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
To see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father, on His sapphire throne,
Expects His own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.

As we look forward to Holy Week, I wanted to reflect on Jesus’ last days before His death on the cross. The week before His death, Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem. As they approached Jerusalem, Jesus sent two disciples to get a donkey and a colt.

"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." Matthew 21:2-3

The disciples obeyed Jesus, found the donkey and the colt, and untied them to take them to Jesus. Mark tells us that people questioned them, saying,

"What are you doing, untying the colt?" Mark 11:5

The disciples were ready with their answer because Jesus had instructed them.

They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. Mark 11:6

The disciples brought the donkey and colt to Jesus. They also gave Jesus their coats, and Jesus sat on them. The people heard that Jesus was coming and they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. They made a “red carpet” for Jesus by using branches from trees and spreading their coats in the road. And they were praising Him.

The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:9

As you might imagine, all this commotion garnered attention and the people in the city wondered what all the excitement was about.

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:10-11

Of course, all this excitement, the “palm branch” parade and the crowds singing Hosanna led to one thing: Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. This hymnwriter puts it so plainly, “Ride on, ride on in majesty, in lowly pomp ride on TO DIE.”

Jesus knew that His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem was the beginning of the end, so to speak. He knew that by the end of the week, He would be sacrificed for the sins of all mankind, for all time. God’s promise was about to be fulfilled, and man would be reconciled to God through the redemptive work of Jesus!

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God. I Peter 3:18

For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:19-20

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