March 20, this coming Sunday, is called “Palm Sunday.” Sometimes referred to as the Triumphal Entry, Christians worldwide remember Jesus’ riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and the people waving and strewing palm branches on the path before Him, crying out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
All four gospels record the Triumphal Entry, but John’s description is quite remarkable:
In fulfillment of several prophecies from Zechariah, Jesus presents Himself as the predicted Savior/King, but not as one who would overthrow the Roman government.
Neither popularity nor lack of popularity prove that Jesus is worthy of one’s absolute loyalty. Many follow Him (temporarily) because of His raising Lazarus from the dead. The Jewish religious leaders are in despair because many are following Him. They say, “This is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
But “the whole world” turns against Him, including His own disciples who desert Him during His trials and crucifixion. Only Jesus’ bodily resurrection convinces them that He is the King who was promised, the Savior of all who believe, the One who would bear the sins of many on the cross.
In our Western culture, we have no desire for a king. We fled England in order to establish a democracy where we elect our leaders! Christians sometimes sing, “King of my life, I crown Thee now . . .” But do we really? Or is it easier to just crown ourselves? (to be continued)