Behind His Smile

Not only did Jesus fulfill a 500-year prophecy as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, but His smile demonstrated an unmatched eternal love in that moment. Jesus was in an earthly body but was still God, so we can’t escape one glaring fact. He didn’t smile because of an overwhelming sense of honor, love, ego, and praise but for a much more intentional, beautiful, and life-changing reason.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious,lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9

The Triumphal Entry

The crowds underestimated Jesus as a worldly savior to free them from Rome’s oppression. It’s easy to be shortsighted, seeing God for the answers to our temporal problems. Of course, He can answer those, but what a waste. It would be if He had come to do something done by a mere mortal man. With such zeal, they laid down their cloaks for his donkey to walk on and the branches of the palms, for He would soon deliver them. Jesus came to bring peace, but not with Rome. He was the only one qualified to broker peace and forgiveness between sinful humans and a holy God. Although Jesus knew these praises and love would too quickly turn the hate, they would despise and reject Him as He alone hung on that cross, He still smiled. For the cross, He came, for He knew no one else was qualified to pay for our sins.

"Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Matthew 21:8-9

With Joy

From the top of that donkey, He saw past the “Triumphal Entry” to the cross, through eternity, to the redemption His death would create. Hebrews 12:2 said that He endured the cross with joy in front of Him. He rode amid the elated honor and praise, knowing full well that with the same fervor, those voices would soon be mocking Him, demanding His death and choosing to free a notorious criminal over Him. From the back of a donkey, Jesus knew that His purpose wasn’t for popularity or praise but to be the holy sacrifice that would bring peace between the sinful humanity and the holy God longing for our lost relationship. It wasn’t the flattery of praise but the joy of the fruit of the cross that brought that smile to His face. Through the power of the cross, we are forgiven; we are made sons and daughters of God. This is why He knew what they would do but was able to smile.

"..who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [a]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].]"
Hebrews 12:2

Let's Connect