After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
They replied, “The Lord needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:28-40 (NIV)
Going up to Jerusalem, Jesus does not stumble or hesitate, despite knowing the suffering and darkness that are coming. Jesus’ obedience is calling for the highest sacrifice, the surrender of Jesus’ life for humanity’s future.
The two disciples are given simple instructions and meticulously obey, bringing the donkey and laying their cloaks on him and bringing Jesus into the city on the donkey. At the same time, Pilate returns to the city as well, adorned like a King.
As Jesus entered the city, the crowds waved palm branches and shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”
When the Pharisees tell Jesus to “rebuke [his] disciples,” they are making it clear that the king coming into the city today is Pilate, not Jesus.
But Jesus says to them, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
If we analyze this, Jesus doesn’t say who He is. He implies it. Jesus makes it clear that He is more than a king, but the Son of God. Truly only one king was entering the city that day and it was Christ, not Pilate.
The Pharisees knew that this adoration would lead up to a clash between Pilate and Jesus. Pilate had come into the city for the precise purpose of attending Passover to prevent uprisings against Rome. While Pilate would have a seat of honor at the Passover feast, Jesus was contrasting this by entering into the city on a donkey and ministering to the poor of Jerusalem.
This moment is a perfect juxtaposition between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world. When Jesus enters in such a fashion, He sets the stage for Friday and his public execution. But at the moment where Jesus tells the pharisees that the stones will cry out, He makes it clear that there will always be a testimony regarding Jesus’ majesty.
Angels sang at Christ’s birth, and now crowds shout at his entry into Jerusalem. If humans ever grew silent, a chorus of praise would break out from the very rocks.
Similarly, if we do not want to give praise to His glory, our chairs would sing out in praise. No matter the stages of our lives, there are none in which our expression of God’s goodness is not still appropriate. From the crucifixion to the resurrection, Jesus is still to be adored.