An old farmer that knows Pastor Josh said, “Don’t do that. Number 82 is from a good cow. She’ll be a good cow. Get your meat another way.” The Pastor thought about it. It kind of weighed on him. Finally, he went to see a fellow who had a dairy farm. “Do you have any steers you want to sell?” The farmer had several and Pastor Josh decided on Number 35.
They made the deal and loaded Number 35. As Pastor Josh was getting into his truck, God spoke and said, “Right there is what I did for you. Jesus was the substitute for you just as Number 35 is the substitute for Number 82.”
That was the opening of the Sunday service. Mark 11:1-11 recounts part of the last week of Jesus’ life here on earth. Here, he sent two disciples into a village not far from Jerusalem to fetch a colt, a colt that’s not been ridden on. The disciples do as they are told and found the colt. As they were untying him some who were there asked what they were doing. They simply said that the Lord had need of him.
The colt is brought to Jesus and the ride into Jerusalem begins. Now, keep in mind that this is in the same area Lazarus was raised from the dead. Also, it hasn’t been very long since that had happened. When Jesus gets on the colt it’s no wonder that many remembered the prophesy of the King riding the colt of an ass (Zechariah 9:9).
The celebration begins and shouts of “Hosanna; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” They are singing the same praises as the one found in Psalm 118:26. The sad part of this is many of these same ones praising the Lord and escorting him into Jerusalem will be some of the same ones crying for his crucifixion.
You see, they misunderstood. Jesus wasn’t coming to rescue them from Roman rule. He was coming to rescue them from their sins which calls for death. He was coming to be their, and also our, substitute.