The Triumphal Entry: Matthew 21:1-27
Yet, this triumphal march was not like that of a war hero. Instead Jesus came on a donkey as a humble king of peace. He did not marshal troops, but he was escorted by rag-tag group of fishermen, former prostitutes, and tax collectors. Nevertheless, he was thronged and praised by the people as the prophecies of old were being fulfilled, and they sang, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Jesus began his mission of freedom in his father’s house. But, it was not against the oppressive Romans but against the supposed shepherds of God’s people; the religious leaders of the day. Rather than leading God’s sheep, they were fleecing them. Instead of giving them hope in the Messiah, they were attempting to shut up their praise. Rather than bearing fruit, these false teachers were as barren fig trees. So King Jesus, full of righteous indignation, cleaned house. He rebuked them for their failure to believe in God’s Son even as the children of Israel openly declared Jesus to be the Messiah. And not only did he rebuke the Scribes and Pharisees, but he cursed them. Like withered barren trees they would dry up and be fuel for the fire of God’s judgment. He exposed them. They attempted to prove their authority by questioning Jesus, but Jesus turned the tables on them and put them to the test, showing their own fear, unbelief, and powerlessness.
This odd king entered Jerusalem hailed as the Son of David. He did not come as an army general, but as a humble savior. Ultimately, even the people who sang “Hosanna”, who made a highway of palms, would not accept the donkey riding King who disrupts lives and livelihood. His bloody coronation day was coming when their cry would be, “Crucify him”. Yet even that day would be this king’s great coup. He would turn the tables of life and death itself. While all the earth mocked and Jeered, the throng of heaven would cry “Hosanna to the King!” as this humble donkey riding, cross bearing, righteousness giving, cursed savior liberated his people from their sin.
Sing Hosanna, for our crucified king has come! - RG