The Not-So-Triumphal Entry

The Not-So-Triumphal Entry

March 16, 2024

Bible Readings

Take a few minutes to read the Bible verses listed and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how this verse applies to you this week.

Matthew 21:1-11

Memory Verse

Matthew 21: 4-5

So God's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “Announce to the people of Jerusalem: ‘Your king is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey. He comes on the colt of a donkey.’ ” (CEV)

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I watched as Karissa rode her giant horse around the arena. The horse’s name was Prince, and he earned his name by his shiny black coat and blazing speed. He galloped around the arena with his head held high, leading the rest of the horses behind him. He was incredible to watch. But as I watched, I noticed another animal in a distant pasture. It was a small donkey with floppy ears and a matted gray coat. Its head slung low, and no one was following it. No one was paying any attention to her, and she looked sad and pathetic.

I always find it funny that we talk about Palm Sunday being triumphal—a big word that means celebrating a great win or achievement—and then we see Jesus riding on a donkey like the one I saw in the field. The horse was triumphal, not the donkey. I wonder why Jesus chose to ride a donkey.

Like everything Jesus did, there was meaning to his choice. If he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on a giant horse, it would have been an act of war, with Jesus as the conquering king. But by choosing a donkey, he declared that he was there to get to work—God’s work—and he wasn’t threatening anyone. Donkeys aren’t flashy.

Maybe you aren’t flashy either. Do you ever feel pressure to perform or to stand out and be noticed? Those are the things that the world values or even requires. But Jesus doesn’t put value in those things. Jesus spent his entire ministry with people that didn’t seem to matter and weren’t all that successful. His “triumphal” entry was no different. He came to Jerusalem for everyone, not just the flashy or popular people.

If you ever feel like you aren’t good enough for Jesus, remember that Jesus doesn’t just pick those who are good enough. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as he prepared to die on the cross for everyone who isn’t good enough but who he loves anyway. Like you!


Jesus, thank you for choosing me! Thank you for loving me so much that you died to forgive my sins. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, help me to remember that even when I feel like I don’t deserve your love you give it to me anyway. Help me to live each day as your chosen child. Amen.
Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is the Director of Faith Formation at First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. He has also served churches in California and Michigan. He has a passion for youth ministry and intergenerational ministry in the local church. When he isn’t working at church or writing he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 children, hiking, woodworking, and watching movies.

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