“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just 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 doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’’ They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, ‘What are you doing, untying that colt?’ They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go”
(Mark 11:1-6, NIV).
God the Father and the Son planned the Saviour’s visit to planet earth before the world was created. The Plan is foretold and recorded in the Old Testament centuries before the Saviour was born. Over 300 specific prophesies about the Saviour-Messiah are found in the prophetic writings of the Old Testament – prophecies concerning the place of His birth (Micah 5:2), the virginity of His mother (Isaiah 7:14), the place of His ministry (Isaiah 9:1-2), His rejection (Isaiah 53:3), death (Isaiah 53:12) and resurrection (Psalm 16:10). This is God’s game plan (God’s will).
Mark 11:1-11 describes the beginning of the most agonizing week of Jesus’ game plan. As you read on until Mark 15, it was the week of rejection, suffering and death (that Jesus had told His disciples about so openly). Ironically, the week began with an event that looked anything like the beginning of a week of suffering: Jesus’ triumphant ride to Jerusalem! Jesus’ entrance on a donkey was another event in the game plan that God previewed in the Old Testament Scriptures. The prophet Zechariah wrote: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of 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 fact that Jesus called for a colt on “which no one has ever ridden” was very significant to God’s plan as in Jewish tradition, an unbroken animal was often associated with sacred use.
The people, however, misunderstood Him as a political saviour who would cast out the Roman government from their holy city. They cried out, “Hosanna!” (Mark 11:9) which mean “Save us now, we pray!” It was a plea for political liberation. The people also shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (v.9-10). The people imagined that Jesus would use His miracle-working power to fulfil their prayer for political salvation. They wanted a liberator, a freedom fighter but God’s game plan called for a King on a lowly donkey. They were deaf to prophesies of the Old Testament and blind to Jesus’ game plan. The suffering and the death of Saviour was not on their lists of God’s plan. When it became obvious that Jesus was not going to fulfil their hopes and expectations, many turn against Him.
Dear readers, the focus of God’s game plan is redemption. Total redemption, yes; but first – the most important of all – our spiritual redemption. Jesus the Saviour paid the death penalty for our sin in order to redeem us back to God.
Now, even though God’s game plan was completed with the death and resurrection of Jesus (see John 17:4, 19:30), the play continues. For the redemption that Jesus secured for all people must be offered individually by each person. The Lord is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So as long as there are those who have not heard the redemption of Christ, God’s plan continues. Just as Jesus used two disciples (and a donkey!) to carry out His game plan, so He uses people today to carry out the game plan of redemption. He still looks for willing followers who will obey His Word trustfully like the two disciples. Most people like to follow their own expectations of how God’s plan work, but as for us, we must follow His plan as written in the Scriptures and through the leading of the Holy Spirit in us. As Christians, we are already in the Game. The question is: Are you actively participating in God’s game plan or just sitting being an audience only?
All the Scripture will be fulfilled.
God’s game plan will continue with or without you.
Are you participating in the Game?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.