It’s known by several names: The Triumphal Entry, Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week. But this coming Sunday also celebrates the Coronation of Christ - the moment Jesus agrees to be hailed as King.
The story begins when Jesus instructs two of his disciples to bring a donkey and its colt to Him. First century Jews would have remembered this prophecy some 500 years earlier: “See, your king comes to you gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
But why two animals? And what was the significance of the colt? Even more interesting, Jesus asks the disciples for a colt that’s never been ridden. Luke 19:30
I explain the mystery of the never-saddled colt in my new book, “Hidden Prophecy,” available completely free to my column readers. Just contact me.
So, Jesus rides into Jerusalem as a massive crowd waves palm branches, shouting “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Matthew 21:9
The people place palm branches before the donkey and colt, while the disciples lay down their cloaks, creating a coronation carpet.
But not everyone in the crowd is happy. You can just about hear the Jewish leaders gasping. Some shout, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” Luke 19:39
What does our Lord say?
Jesus knows what must happen and when. He fed the 5,000 a year earlier, and Scripture says, “Perceiving they (would) take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew." John 6:15, ESV.
But Jesus now tells the Pharisees that no one can stop what’s happening. He says, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:40
We don’t have a monarchy in America, so the details of a coronation aren’t well known to us. But even England can get it wrong.
Several years ago, Queen Elizabeth spoke of an embarrassing moment in her coronation during a BBC chat. It seems when the queen walked against the carpet’s pile, she got stuck.
"I couldn’t move at all," she said.
The idea behind a coronation carpet is that the royal foot shouldn't touch ground on such a momentous occasion. Sounds very English, but nearly 3,000 years ago, long before England existed, a general was anointed as Israel's king on the battlefront. Jehu’s soldiers then quickly placed their cloaks on the steps before him, creating a coronation carpet as they shouted, "Jehu is King!” 2 Kings 9:13
At the Triumphal Entry, Jesus recognizes that His time has come. And the disciples couldn’t have been happier. What they wanted was a king and a fight to be free of Roman occupation.
But the disciples had no idea where the coronation carpet would lead.
In five days, Jesus was dead. It led to the Crucifixion.
There have been moments in my life when I’ve needed all the strength I could muster and then some. I remember one particular meeting with a prominent man. He was expecting me, and his secretary had waved me through. But I stopped just outside the massive doors to his office to collect myself.
I lifted my head, straightened my back, and said, “I’m royalty, the daughter of the King.” And God walked with me as I stepped through those doors.
Always remember who you are. Let that strengthen and ennoble you.
But remember one more thing — there’s a time and a place for all of us. A coronation carpet. You must be willing to walk with God wherever that leads. This is what the disciples would learn after the Resurrection.
We’re often so focused on getting from God what we want that we fail to say, “What can I do for You, Lord?”
Ask that question every day. Walk that carpet.
Contact me if you’d like a completely free digital copy of my new book, “Hidden Prophecy,” which explains the mystery of the never-saddled colt. You must do so before Easter.
Copyright © 2018, 2019, 2021 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved. The Rev. Mathews is a faith columnist, seminary graduate, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact Mathews at Letters@RAMathews.com
This article originally appeared on The Star: What the Coronation of Christ means for us