This coming Sunday, 4/2/23, we will be celebrating Palm Sunday. It celebrates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem 5 days before his death, burial, and resurrection. While the event and details happened a long time ago, they carry a lot of significance for all of us, today.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem appears in all 4 of the Gospels (Mt. 21:1-17; Mk. 11:1-11; Lk. 19:29-40; Jn. 12:12-19). Its appearance in all of the Gospels marks it as a significant event for not only those who have put their faith in Christ, but also for the whole world.
Jesus’ purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim to be the long-promised Messiah, the King of Israel. He was literally fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the King as recorded in Zechariah 9.9. Indeed, when He entered Jerusalem, He received the worship and praise of the people as He should. He was greeted as royalty. The spreading of cloaks before Him as an act of homage to royalty. By entering Jerusalem, Jesus was unequivocally declaring Himself as the King and Messiah.
However, the lavish treatment by the masses in Jerusalem were for the wrong reason. Their idea of a Messiah was one who would come and deliver them from Rome – a victorious military leader. When He did not meet their expectations, at no fault of His own, they turned on Him with calls to “Crucify Him!” (Lk. 23:20-21).
Every detail pointed to Jesus being a different kind of King – He came as a lowly servant riding on a donkey, not on a magnificent stallion dressed in royal robes. He came not to conquer kings and kingdoms but to conquer hearts and minds with a message of peace with God and peace of God, of eternal salvation from sin, as one who will ultimately triumph and rule forever.
When you read the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, what is your expectation of who Jesus is? Is He a powerful problem solver for all your earthly needs and wants, or is He the Savior from your sin? Please do not make the same mistake the crowds in Jerusalem did. Jesus “…has come to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10).