They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him[d] on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:7-9, NKJV (But you might want to read the whole story, Matthew 21:1-11.)
(continued from yesterday)
Matthew rose, stretched his full length--which wasn't a lot--and yawned. With a grin, he toed John. "Come, lazy one. The sun has risen, and it's time to begin the day. Up!"
John groaned. "If you can give me one good reason...."
"The women have prepared honeyed bread for us to break our fast, if my nose speaks truth to me."
John sniffed. "I believe you're right!" He wrapped the cloak around his shoulders that had served him as a blanket in the night.
John shook his brother James's shoulder. "Breakfast," he shouted.
James wasn't the only one who woke. With mumblings and mutterings, all the disciples rose from where they slept on the stone floor, their hair and beards sticking out in spikes and curls.
"Where's Jesus?" Judas asked.
"I don't know. Maybe He went out to the Olive grove to pray again."
Peter scratched his red-bearded chin. "Never saw anyone who would rather pay than sleep like He does."
Just then, the door opened and Jesus appeared.
"Shalom, Master," Matthew said. "You're just in time."
Jesus glanced toward the opening to the Roman-style culina and nodded, but he remained silent.
"I'll go ask Martha if she's ready for us yet," John said, but before he could take a step, the woman in question stepped into the room.
"I hope you're all hungry. I fixed enough for a Roman legion. Mary, come help me bring the table in."
"I'll get that. It's too heavy for you." Her brother Lazarus gently moved Martha aside and strode into the culina.
"Not bad, for a man who was dead only a few days ago." Matthew laughed. "I'll help him."
***When they had finished breakfast, Jesus stood from where He had reclined against his pillow at the table. "Let's go to Jerusalem."
"But Lord, the ruling authorities...." Thomas didn't finish, stopped by "that look" from Jesus.
When they reached Bethphage, Jesus stopped at the edge of the village. "James and John, I want you to go to the street opposite us and get the donkey and colt tied in front of the house there. If anyone tries to stop you, just say, 'The Master has need of them.'"
It wasn't long before the two men brought back the animals. Matthew pulled off his cloak and placed it on the jenny's back. One by one the others also took theirs and placed the heavy woolen garments on either the jenny or the colt. The colt laid back his ears and threatened to bite and kick, but when Jesus approached him and mounted, the foal quieted.
"It's really happening," Matthew whispered, awe-struck.
"What?" asked Andrew.
"Don't you see? This is the triumphant entry of the King!"
One by one, the disciples began to smile and talk among themselves. When Jesus nudged the donkey into motion, they began to shout hosanna and hallelujah and praise to the King. People came out of their houses and joined the parade, more and more as they came down the hillside and then rode into Jerusalem. Several threw cloaks and palm branches in front of them.
One of the scowling Pharisees trotted to Jesus's side. "Rabbi, rebuke your disciples!"
Jesus shook His head. "Truly, if they kept quiet, the very stones would cry out."