29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (Luke 19:29–40)
Before we begin to look at Luke’s account of the triumphal entry of Jesus, let’s ask the question: “Why did this even take place?” Jesus knew that he had come to this world to die on the cross. What was he doing here, entering Jerusalem like a king? Why not just go straight to the cross?
J.C. Ryle, an old preacher from the 1800’s, said that Jesus wanted to fix attention on himself so that when the time for the crucifixion came, all of Israel would be focused on him. Ryle wrote:
The Lamb of God was about to be slain; the great sin-offering was about to be killed. It was right that all eyes in Israel should be fixed on him. This great thing was not done in a corner (J. C. Ryle, Luke, Crossway Classic Commentaries [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1997], Lk 19:28–40)
I think old Ryle came pretty close in his answer. Jesus wanted to have all eyes on him as he approached the cross, so he gave people a demonstration of his glory.