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Humble Hero

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    Jesus Acclaimed as Israel’s King

    This chapter is based on Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19.

    Five hundred years before Christ’s birth, the prophet Zechariah foretold the coming of the King to Israel:HH 263.1

    “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.”
    Zechariah 9:9
    HH 263.2

    He who had refused royal honors for so long now came to Jerusalem as the Promised Heir to David’s throne.HH 263.3

    On the first day of the week, Christ made His triumphal entry. Crowds who had flocked to see Him at Bethany went with Him. Many who were on their way to keep the Passover joined the assembly. All nature seemed to rejoice. The trees were clothed in green, and their blossoms gave off a delicate fragrance. The hope of the new kingdom was again springing up.HH 263.4

    Jesus had sent two disciples to bring Him a donkey and its colt. Although “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10) are His, He was dependent on a stranger’s kindness for an animal on which to enter Jerusalem as its King. But again His divinity was revealed, even in the detailed directions given. As He foretold, the request, “The Lord has need of them,” was readily granted. The disciples spread their garments on the donkey and seated their Master on it. Jesus had always traveled on foot, and the disciples were amazed that He would now choose to ride. But hope brightened in their hearts with the thought that He was about to enter the capital, proclaim Himself King, and assert His royal power. Excitement spread far and near, raising the expectations of the people to the highest pitch.HH 263.5

    Christ was following the Jewish custom for a royal entry. Prophecy had foretold that the Messiah would come to His kingdom in this way. No sooner was He seated on the colt than the crowd proclaimed Him as Messiah, their King. In imagination, the disciples and the people saw the Roman armies driven from Jerusalem and Israel once more an independent nation. They all tried to outdo one another in paying Him honor and the respect of royalty. Unable to present Him with costly gifts, they spread their outer garments as a carpet in the path and strewed the leafy branches of the olive and the palm in the way. With no royal banners to wave, they cut down the spreading palm fronds, nature’s emblem of victory, and waved them high in the air.HH 263.6

    Spectators mingling with the crowds asked, “Who is this? What does all this commotion signify?” They knew that Jesus had discouraged all efforts to place Him on the throne, and they were astonished to learn that this was He. What had brought about this change in Him who had declared that His kingdom was not of this world?HH 264.1

    From the great numbers gathered to attend the Passover, thousands greeted Him with palm branches waving and with a burst of sacred song. The priests at the temple sounded the trumpet for evening service, but few responded, and the rulers said to one another in alarm, “The world has gone after Him!”HH 264.2

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