All four gospels contain a description of Yeshua (Jesus) entering Jerusalem with crowds of people cheering Him on. This important passage is often called the Triumphal Entry and gives us a prophetic preview of how Yeshua will one day enter Jerusalem again in an even greater triumph.
Yeshua said to His disciples, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me (Matthew 21:2).” The disciples put Yeshua on the young colt and the donkey, spread their clothes on the road and waved branches to Him [see notes 1, 2, 3 and 4].
Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out saying, “Hoshanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
This phrase, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai)” is repeated in Matthew 23 when Yeshua speaks to the Pharisees in Jerusalem who were rejecting Him. He said to them, “You will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’ (Matthew 23:39).” Yeshua is saying that those religious leaders must accept Him the same way that the crowd of common people accepted Him, and then He would return.
While Yeshua rebuked the religious leaders for their hypocrisy, He also recognized their priestly role both in having Him sacrificed at the first coming, as well as having Him inaugurated at the second coming. Yeshua is also prophesying that this would indeed happen. Eventually both the common people and the religious leaders in Israel will accept Him. It is at that time that He will come back.
In other words, the Triumphal Entry of Yeshua into Jerusalem as recorded in the gospels will happen again, yet in an even greater way. In the Gospels, we have a partial fulfillment, but the timing was not right [see note 5]. This is a picture of the Triumphal Entry, but THE Triumphal Entry is yet to happen.
The version in Mark makes the slight addition that Yeshua is coming to fulfill the “kingdom of our father David (Mark 11:10).” The version in Luke adds the word “king” (Luke 19:37) in referring to Yeshua. The version in John calls Him “The King of Israel” (John 12:13). The Triumphal Entry is an image that Yeshua will return as the King of Israel to establish the greater kingdom of David on the earth.
It is only when conditions are ready for David’s kingdom to be fully established, that Yeshua will return. Jesus did not come do to do away with David’s kingdom but to establish it forever [see note 6]. We preach the gospel of the kingdom in order to establish Yeshua’s authority to rule on earth as a king. When the gospel of the kingdom is preached all over the world, then Yeshua will return to set up that kingdom.
Note 1: The people were waving branches. Normally, the branches are waved during the holiday of Succot (Tabernacles), which occurs during the Fall. However, this event took place in the Spring during the Passover. The Spring holidays are symbolic of the first coming of Yeshua, while the Fall holidays are symbolic of the second coming.
Tabernacles is also the feast representing the ingathering of gentile Christians from all over the world. The second coming will include not only the Jewish people but also believers from every nation.
Note 2: Matthew states that they brought to Yeshua both a donkey and a colt and set Him on them (a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9). I ask myself how Yeshua could have ridden on both the donkey and the colt. Did He straddle them both with one leg on each? No. He rode on them one at a time. First He rode on the colt, which was for most of this entry, and then at the end He briefly rode upon the donkey.
Why? The two different animals are also symbolic that there are two different events. One was a little donkey and the other was a big donkey. The little donkey symbolized this first entry, which was the smaller event. The larger donkey represents the entry at the second coming, which will be the greater event. (Of course, at the second entry Yeshua will be riding a white horse and not a donkey at all.)
Note 3: The word for donkey’s colt or foal in Hebrew is ayir. This word has the same root letters and is a play on words for the Hebrew word meaning city. While the timing was not right in the first century, the location was. Yeshua will return one day to make Jerusalem the capital city of His kingdom here on earth.
Note 4: The word for donkey in Hebrew is chamor, which has the same root letters and is a play on words for chomer, meaning “material, matter, material world.” In mystic Judaism the Messiah is seen as coming back “riding” on top of the material world and taking it over. Perhaps when the body of Christ learns to bind and loose the material world for the purpose of His kingdom and only for the purpose of His kingdom, Yeshua will return.
Note 5: One hint that the timing was not right is that the episode of Yeshua cursing the fig tree happens during this entrance to Jerusalem. It was said of the fig tree (which is also symbolic of Israel) that it was not the season for the figs to be ripen (Mark 11:13). Yet that season will come.
Note 6: The kingdom of God is not only in heaven, but also on earth. Yeshua said that we should preach the gospel since He had been given all authority, not only in heaven, but also on earth (Matthew 28:17).
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.