Mark 11:1-8 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. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
Jesus often enters through the back door.
The grand entrance. It’s the thing of wedding receptions and parades, famous movies with heroes and celebrities on red carpets. When you’ve made it, when there’s something to celebrate, you always enter through the front door. We have grand expectations for those who make a grand entrance. It’s glamour and glitz, happiness and bliss, justice being served, victory on its way. We’ve watched the movies and know how the story is supposed to go, the happy ending ahead-- because the good guys, the heroines, the princes and princesses always make it known through their grand entrance.
But not Jesus.
While King Herod made his way into Jerusalem with the fanfare of a grand entrance, Jesus entered through the back door with a rental vehicle. The owners of the colt that the disciples asked to take for him didn’t understand what they were doing, and neither did the disciples themselves. The people on the street saw this unexpected entrance and clamored to watch this strange occurrence. Jesus’ way was different, very different. This did not look like an answer to their prayer requests. In fact, the whole thing looked like a big disappointment. Undoubtedly, it crossed the onlookers’ minds that perhaps he was in disguise, ready to pick up the sword and hit the ground running in a couple more minutes. Was this who they really waited centuries for? The crowd was hopeful and called out to him. They waited some more.
But Jesus wanted to enter a different way.
Some question why God does not intervene and cure this disease, why Jesus doesn’t show up and make himself known to every single person on earth, why he can be all-powerful but not seem to solve our problems. We, too, wonder, “Where’s the grand entrance?” But perhaps Jesus wants to enter a different way. Perhaps it does not look like an answer or a victory—at first. Perhaps he is, indeed, still relentless.
Perhaps he is arriving through the back door.