As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38 NASB)
I needed to start this series somewhere, and opted to skip the colt and focus on the ride. Jesus rides into Jerusalem. And along the way, Luke records cloaks (not palms) in the path. In Luke this a royal procession more than triumphal. Immediately following the parable about the king receiving a kingdom is this event. For Luke (and therefore his audience) there is a direct link between the two.
And yet there’s another link. See what the disciples (the crowd of them) say? It sounds a bit like angels singing above shepherds so many chapters ago. So, Luke connects the beginning with the beginning of the end. Just in case we had forgotten how we got here, he uses a brief reminder. The King is coming into His own.
In Luke, the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is much more than a pilgrimage. The palms and hosannas of the other pilgrims are here replaced by royal references and cloaks in the path. If you consider the setting, this had to ignite excitement and confusion among the visitors to Jerusalem. It was already becoming an unusual Passover.
The King comes to Jerusalem, the Davidic King, the Messianic King, the King of Righteousness (Malchizadek), and the Eternal King. The Davidic King has been absent for over 400 years, but the King of Righteousness since the days of Abraham. Jerusalem is unexpectedly hosting the Priest-King she knew in her youth, when her name was just Salem. The peace she was named for was about to ride through her gates.
The history of God-Most-High leading and guiding His people was coming around to the cross-over; where a circle becomes the symbol of infinity. So much meaning, symbolism, and change was coming together in this one city.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” The King comes. Actually, the King returns. He remembers Salem before Abraham ever arrived in Canaan. He’s coming home in ways no one around Him imagines. And home has changed. It’s no longer a single hill, but three. The shrine has become a massive temple complex. And the throngs of pilgrims far out number the original inhabitants. So much has changed since those days. And yet, in those days when the sin of the Amorite had not yet reached its fill, so much seemed very similar to what He saw.
By the time Joshua reaches the Promised Land, Salem’s king is no longer the priest. By the time David takes the city, there seems to be no king at all, just a priest named Zadok, “righteousness”. The king of righteousness is just the priest named righteousness, and David enters the messianic role of king. The two roles become separated. Righteousness has become divorced from politics and war. And as Jesus rides into town, the two streams merge once again. The King of Righteousness has returned.
Will I bow before the King and worship before the Priest? Will you? Will we offer our heads to the King? Will we offer our goods and lives to the Priest? He comes to us, but will we receive Him? He came to Bethlehem and no one knew. He comes to Jerusalem, and no one understands. He comes to us today, but what will we do?
I am Matthew Scott Brumage, son of Lloyd, Knight of the Realm, Servant of the King. He has revealed that He loves me, He has my back, and I am at His service. He has called me to wait, worship, and walk before Him. That is who I am because that is who He declared me to be. Who are you?