Entering Jerusalem

The Gospel of Mark – Part 39

Entering Jerusalem – Mark 11:1-11

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – June 14th, 2020


  • Jesus now has reached the capital city of Jerusalem after traveling some distance from the northern regions of Galilee. Along the way He continued to train the 12 disciples and minister to the crowds. Now was the time for Him to enter into Jerusalem for this final week which ended with His crucifixion and resurrection.
  • These final chapters of the book of Mark (11-16) are focused around three themes: a new temple, a new covenant, and a new Passover. Jesus creates a new temple of His people, Jesus establishes a new covenant in His blood, Jesus initiates a new Passover with His sacrifice.
  • This “triumphal entry,” which is typically observed on Palm Sunday, has hidden details which when brought to light, add greater significance to this moment. In understanding that Jesus is the prince of the prophets and the prince of the people you are invited to join in the processional shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10).

The Prince of the Prophets

Mark 11:1-6 ESV
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 

  • As they were nearing Jerusalem, Jesus directed two of the disciples to go to the next small village (Bethphage) and there they would find a colt of a donkey that had not been ridden tied up.  They were to untie the colt, explain to anyone that asked that the Lord had need of it and then bring it to Him. Now this seem like a strange request. Was Jesus tired of walking all this way and now needed help to go the final distance? Did Jesus want to give the appearance of wealth to the people of the capital city? Why did He tell them to do this, and why did He “need” this animal? 
  • In making this request, Jesus was to fulfill Scripture as a sign pointing to and revealing His true identity. 

Zech 9:9 ESV
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

  • Those of God’s people (Zion) are to rejoice!  Those who are of Jerusalem are to “shout aloud!”  The King is coming to them – He is righteous (the only righteous one) having salvation (the only one who has it). He is coming in humility as a servant, ridding a foal of a donkey – an animal that has been set apart for special service (not ridden).
  • In arriving in the city of Jerusalem, Jesus was the prince that the prophets were proclaiming would come. In arriving in this manner and on a foal of a donkey, He fulfilled this prophecy as the coming righteous King of salvation. And in so doing –    

Zech 9:10 ESV
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

  • In His rule He will cut off war and speak peace to all the nations. He will rule from sea to sea, from THE RIVER to the ends of the earth (this is the river that we see in Revelation 22). Jesus fulfilled the first part of the prophecy the first time He came to Jerusalem, and He will fulfill the second part when He comes again to Jerusalem (Rev. 19-22).  

Zech 9:11 ESV
As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

  • Because of the New Covenant that was established in the blood of the prince of peace, we are set free from being condemned to hell (waterless pit) and we are now living as “prisoners of hope” and waiting until the day when God will restore “double” which is both heaven and earth to us! 
  • In riding into the city of Jerusalem on a foal of a donkey, Jesus was revealing His identity, fulfilling prophecy, and promising salvation and restoration at His return! 
  • In this act of entering Jerusalem on a donkey, He was also fulfilling another more ancient prophecy given by Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) back in the book of Genesis when he was praying and prophesying to his sons. When he came down to Judah, he said this:   

Gen 49:9-11 ESV
Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

  • The Lion of the tribe of Judah will forever rule, tribute will come to Him and the peoples (all nations) will be obedient to Him.  

11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

  • The Lion of the tribe of Judah will be known because he will have His foal, the donkey’s colt tied to a vine (colt tied), the “choice vine.” The colt was literally tied to the choice vine (the colt was tied “by the door”) also symbolically that He was from Israel (the vine) and that this King was the “choice vine,” the true vine (I am the vine). This King was righteous (washed his garments in wine) and will make righteous (his vesture in the blood of grapes) by shedding His blood that gives us the New Covenant (the blood of grapes) that make us righteous as well.   
  • This act was planned, and it said who Jesus was, what He was to do and how this impacts the rest of the world for all eternity. Do you see the significance of this? Do you understand why this event is recorded in all four Gospels? Jesus is, indeed, the prince of the prophets. He also is the prince of the people. 

The Prince of the People

Mark 11:7-10 ESV
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

  • The colt was brought to Jesus, and they “threw their cloaks on it” and many “spread their cloaks on the road.” Why was this done and what did it mean? It was done by people to show that they “put themselves” under the feet of a ruling person. That they voluntarily put themselves under and give themselves to serving the one over them. It was an act of pledge, loyalty and honor to another as they laid down their life for them in pledge (seen in 2 Kings 9:13). The “leafy branches” were also a traditional way of giving honor and respect to one in authority, both laid down, held up and over a king. 
  • Those who went before Jesus in the procession shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And those coming behind shouted, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”  Those coming in the precession of people before Jesus told people, “The King is coming” and all those who come after Jesus proclaim, “The Kingdom of our Father is coming – Hosanna in the highest!” They were quoting from Psalm 118, which is a psalm of rejoicing and response from the people of God to the Lord. In the Psalm it states: 

Ps 118:19-24 ESV
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

  • Jesus was the only one who could enter into the “gates of righteousness” because He was the only “Righteous One.” And because of this, we are to “give thanks to the Lord.” Because He opened the gates to the city by His righteousness, all those who enter through this gate will be declared “righteous” as well!  Jesus is and has become our salvation. He is the “stone that the builders rejected” that now “has become the cornerstone.” This was God’s doing (not from us), and it is “marvelous in our eyes.” This is the day – the day that the Lord opened the gates – that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! 
  • Even in this Psalm, and even in the crying out (Hosanna – save us!) it points to the sacrifice and to the goodness of God. This is a cry out to God Himself!  

Ps 118:25 ESV
Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

  • This is a crying out to God to save us. It is a prayer of thankfulness for His light shining on us. It is an acknowledgement of His sacrifice that sets us free. It is praising Him for His goodness to us and that His steadfast love endures forever! Jesus is indeed the prince of the prophets and the prince of the people. He is the true owner of the temple and the true heir to the kingdom.  
  • After this “triumphal entry” Jesus then went to the temple.  

Mark 11:11 ESV
And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

  • This is a foreshadow of the events to come and His teaching in the next chapters (Mark 11-13). 


  • Understand the significance of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. What He did was directly fulfilling prophecy and communicating His true identity. Know that your faith is built upon a solid foundation that was built by God from the beginning of time. God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. He knows all things; He is good, and you can trust Him. 
  • Join in the procession of “shouting” who He is in thankfulness for what He has done, and in anticipation of what is to come. Lay down your life in continual service and honor to Him. 

Communion and closing prayer