The Triumphal Entry — Past Or Future?

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Did our Lord actually ride in triumph into Jerusalem to become King of the Church? Or is His true triumph still to come?

True, the townspeople cried: “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:12,13). But Jesus responded by entering the city, riding “an ass’s colt” (Verses 14,15). Surely this was not a very regal sight! Once before, when He knew that they “would come and take Him by force to make Him a King, He departed…into a mountain Himself alone” (John 6:15).

He knew that it was not yet time for Him to reign. First must come the cross, then the throne. Zechariah had prophesied of this entry into Jerusalem, saying: “Behold thy King!” Look at Him! and then he describes His entrance: “Lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass” (Zech.9:9).

At this entry, “When He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). At this entry He entered into the temple, looked about and went out again (Mark 11:11). It was His Father’s house, but He could not worship there. It had become a den of thieves. No, this was no triumphal entry. Look at Him, meek, lowly, riding on an ass’s colt, and then see Him coming again as Revelation 19:11-16 describes it. How different the symbolism!

Once meek, lowly, and “having salvation.” Now, “in righteousness doth He judge and make war.” Once, riding “an ass’s colt.” Now, “Behold! a white horse!” And those eyes, once filled with tears are now “as a flame of fire.”

Our Lord’s true triumphal entry is still future. According to prophecy He will come again, put down all rebellion against Himself, and reign in glory and power. Thank God He has not yet done so! In love He still points to Calvary, where He died for our sins and offers us the riches of His grace.

“Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom.4:25).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

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