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And as they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the
Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples,  and said to them, "Go
into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will
find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and
bring it here.  "And if anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?'
you say, 'The Lord has need of it'; and immediately he will send it back
here."  And they went away and found a colt tied at the door outside
in the street; and they untied it.  And some of the bystanders were
saying to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?"  And they spoke
to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 
And they brought the colt to Jesus and put their garments on it; and He
sat upon it.  And many spread their garments in the road, and others
spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.  And those
who went before, and those who followed after, were crying out, "Hosanna!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;  Blessed is the coming
kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"  And He entered
Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking all around, He departed
for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
On their journey from Bethany to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of His disciples
on an errand to borrow a colt. In doing so, He was fulfilling the prophesy
of Zech. 9:9 that says: "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."
The action does more than fulfill a prophesy, it also provides insights
into a Christian's relationship with Jesus Christ.
The impact of verse three
is often lost in the events that precede and follow it. In Bethany, Jesus
performed an amazing miracle. This wasn't the first time He did miraculous
things. He had healed the sick, given sight to the blind, made the lame
to walk, but this miracle was especially significant. Do you remember what
it was? He raised Lazarus from the dead.
The enthusiasm of the multitudes
was reaching a fevered pitch as He journeyed into the Holy City with this
disciples. And on the way, he sent two of his disciples on an errand to
borrow a colt.
A colt he would ride into
the city in fulfillment of a prophecy and to receive the praise and honor
He was due. The citizens spread out "the red carpet" for Him--they placed
garments and palm branches in His path, and they greeted Him as their King.
Listen again to their words, "Hosanna!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming
kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"
Hosanna is an exclamation
of praise that literally means, "save us." When the crowd said, "Blessed
is He who comes in the name of the Lord;" they quoted a Messianic Psalm,
Psalm 118:25-26 that said,
"O Lord, do save, we beseech Thee; O Lord, we beseech Thee, do send prosperity!
 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed
you from the house of the Lord."
It is easy to see how Mark
11:3 could get lost in the shadow of Lazarus' resurrection and Jesus' triumphal
entry. Most of the time we view it as a mere prophetic footnote when it
really is a significant instruction. Jesus said, "And
if anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' you say, 'The Lord has
need of it'; and immediately he will send it back here."
Notice the phrase, "The Lord
has need of it." Isn't that a contradiction? Does the King have need of
anything? Doesn't the scripture clearly teach the Lord made everything? "All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made." (John 1:3 KJV)
Doesn't it also teach that He owns everything, and controls everything?"For
by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."
(Col. 1:16 KJV)
Yet, Jesus said, "the Lord
has need of it." It was a specific item He needed--a mule colt. We generally
think of a donkey as a beast of burden, a lowly farm animal. But in the
ancient days, it was Kingly transportation. In 1 Kings 1:33-34, King David
gave instructions for Solomon to ride on his mule as a part of transferring
power to him, "And
the king said to them, "Take with you the servants of your lord, and have
my son Solomon ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon.  "And
let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there as king over
Israel, and blow the trumpet and say, 'Long live King Solomon!'"
In riding this colt into
Jerusalem, Jesus was exerting his Lordship over His people. And He needed
a man's colt to do it.
There is a sense in which
God can get along just fine without us. He doesn't need our efforts, our
money or our ministry. But there is another sense in which He needs us.
Think about it for a moment. When you taught Sunday School or gave your
tithes or served as an usher today, you were doing it for Him! He needed
you to serve and you did. What a blessed thought, that God can use us.
There is another paradox
in Jesus' statement in verse 3, he instructed His disciples to say, "immediately
he will send it back here." Jesus says, give me what you have, but when
you do, I'll return it to you. It is a cliche', nevertheless it is a fact
of the Christian walk, "you can't out give God." Jesus put it this way,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth
and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this
world shall keep it to life eternal.
He says, "Give me your colt,
but I'll return it." He says "give me your life and I'll give you eternal
Let me ask you something,
could any of you say, "I've sacrificed for God and He's let me down?" Would
you say, "I've given to the Lord and He's abandoned me?" Is there anyone
who would say, "Jesus hasn't been faithful?" Of course not. He is faithful!
Let's celebrate that faithfulness by standing with the choir and singing,
"Great is Thy Faithfulness."