Triumphal Entry is the name given to the entry by Jesus into Jerusalem a week before he was put to death and resurrected from the dead. He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey as crowds of people cheered, waved palm branches and shouted “hallelujah.” They were excited about the possibility that the eagerly anticipated Messiah was coming to save the people.
For many, this surely was the fulfillment of a 500-year old prophecy:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Almost 600 years had passed since a king in the line of David sat on a Jewish throne in Jerusalem and many were eager for the promised Messiah, or Anointed One, to lead an overthrow of the oppressive Roman occupation. Many also were hoping for an overthrow of the equally oppressive religious leaders who imposed a strict regimen of impossible-to-adhere-to rules and regulations.
As the crowd spread garments before the man they thought would be their physical deliverer, they also waved palm branches and shouted,
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The word Hosanna means save. What the crowd was saying was “save us from the physical and spiritual oppression that controls our lives. Lead us in a rebellion that will set us free.” The people did not understand that the kind of rebellion that Jesus would lead was not going to be a physical one that would provide temporary freedom, but a much more significant spiritual rebellion that would provide eternal freedom for all mankind.
Christians today celebrate Palm Sunday to remind us of that Triumphal Entry of King Jesus who, within a week, would turn the world upside down by allowing himself to be killed for the sins of everyone, and to rise from the dead to provide assurance of eternal life to those who accept the sacrifice Jesus made on their behalf.
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