Yesterday was the Sunday before Easter—the day Christians refer to as “Palm Sunday,” which commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which is recorded in all four gospel accounts. Zechariah beautifully prophesied this event . . .
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem marks the beginning of His Passion Week. Every week in the life of our Lord led up to this final week, where He would ultimately be crucified for our sins, yet rise victoriously from the grave on the third day. After three-plus years of ministry, the people were ready for their King to ride triumphantly into their capital city and set up His earthly Kingdom and remove the rule of Rome from their lives, once and for all.
According to the gospel accounts, as Jesus was approaching the city, riding on the donkey, the people, who had lined the road, were celebrating their coming King. As they were waving their palm branches (a symbol of triumph and victory), they sang part of Psalm 118:
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
Notice that Jesus did not ride in a chariot pulled by a team of war horses; rather, He sat upon a donkey, an animal that symbolizes peace and humility. He was coming as the Prince of Peace, coming to lay down His life as propitiation—the atoning sacrifice—for sin. Many were lining the road with their branches and their cloaks. Right before their eyes, they saw the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies of the promised Messiah, the One who would come and save His people. But Jesus was not the kind of King they anticipated or wanted. They wanted an earthly King, not a heavenly One. They thought their greatest enemy was Rome, but they were sadly, tragically mistaken. Their most terrible, oppressive, unyielding enemy was sin and death.
In just a few days, the crowds’ joyous shouts of “Hosanna” had turned into hoarse cries to “Crucify Him!” Why? Because Jesus turned out not to be the King they wanted. Jesus would not triumph by taking life, but rather, by giving life—His own life. Jesus would win by losing . . . gain by giving . . . and give us eternal life by dying.
Is He your King? Have you surrendered control of your life to Jesus? Have you transferred your trust to Him?
Here is something we must always remember: Jesus may not be the kind of King we think we want, but He is ALWAYS the King we need.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!