A Tale Of Two Crowns . . .
As I was studying Mathew 21:1-11 in preparation for my teaching on Palm Sunday, I read through the following two verses and started to really become amazed:
Matthew 21:4-5 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
Most of us today, especially in America, have very little understanding of a true monarchy. In fact, as Americans, we tend to shun the idea. After all, that is exactly what our Founding Fathers did as they forged a new country. They left a monarchy of tyrannical rule in order to establish a nation based on democracy and freedom where no man is subjected to another. This may have been great for intentions sake, but there was a King coordinated over 2,000 years ago that many will miss because we do not understand what a true and loving monarchy is about.
Whenever a king or queen is coronated, usually there is an elaborate ceremony with kings or queens dressing in the most extravagant and expensive robes and being driven in the streets by ornate carriages drawn by horses, or at least a styling motorcade. Accompanying them are usually the greatest soldiers that their nation has to offer. Then there are the foreign dignitaries that give amazing oratorios to share how great the new king or queen is. At the end there is usually a crown, or scepter, or some king of significant artifact, that is given to the new reigning monarch to show the transference of power. Following this, the large crowd that has gathered usually erupts with applause and some times even the singing of the national anthem. It is all quite the spectacle designed to show such attributes as power, majesty, glory, and honor.
I even found the following historical tidbit . . . “At her coronation in 1838, Queen Victoria of England wore a crown encrusted with giant rubies and sapphires surrounding a 309 – carat diamond! Her scepter was capped with an even larger diamond, cut from the Star of Africa and weighing 516 1/2 carats!” That is quite impressive indeed.
But in Matthew 21:1–11 we read about the most significant coronation that ever was, and yet it was the exact opposite of what we just described!
- There was no pomp.
- There was no splendor.
- In fact, there was no real sort of pageantry at all.
Truly, it would have been absolutely unimaginable that any king, much less Jesus, the King of kings, come riding into His coronation on a donkey! Where’s the white stallion? Where is regal chariot with all of the carnal fanfare?
Rather, the Son of David chose to ride in to Jerusalem on a donkey! But this is exactly what God’s Prophets predicted would happen:
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Isaiah 62:11 Indeed the LORD has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.’”
The prophet Zechariah had predicted that the people of Jerusalem would hail the Messiah as their King as He was coming into the city and that He would be gentle, humble, and riding on a donkey . . . And this is exactly what happened!
- Jesus did not come (at that time) to to reign in fleshly power or splendor.
- He had no wealth, and in fact was actually impoverished.
- There was no grand entrance, but rather meekness and humility accompanied Him.
- He was not there to conquer Israel’s enemies as many had hoped.
- Instead, He came to save all of mankind, even the most vile and wretched of them, including myself.
The crucifixion was not an accident about to unfold . . . It was all part of God’s predetermined plan. In other word’s Jesus life was not taken from Him, but rather it was given by Him:
John 10:17-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Therefore what we are reading in the pages of holy Scripture here not only demonstrates Jesus omniscience, but His omnipotence! His coronation would not follow the standards of the world, but rather it was exactly God wanted it to be. A Savior, riding on a beast of burden because He was going to carry the burdens of the world onto the cross with Him in just a few days.
But the crowd did not get it.
Matthew 21:10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
All we have to do is notice that the crowd was “moved”, but they still had no idea Who Jesus truly was.
This is the reason for my writing today . . . Many will be “moved” over the next couple of weeks during Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, but they truly have no idea Who Jesus really is and what He truly came to do. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords whether we acknowledge it at all, and yet He humbled Himself and was obedient to death, even the death of the cross. This is Jesus. Our Savior. Our Redeemer. He is the Conquering King Who will one day return to take those who belong to Him home to a place that He is preparing.
Are we ready? It is imperative that we do not miss this. After all, being “moved” during the next couple of weeks means nothing unless we have bent our knee and confessed Jesus as Lord and have Him residing in our hearts. Then, and only then, are we truly “ready” because we understand the difference of The Tale Of Two Crowns.