The Triumphal Entry

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, which recalls Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before he was crucified. All four of the gospels record this story. Matthew says that it was to fulfill Zechariah 9:9. Luke records Jesus weeping over Jerusalem upon entering the city. And John records the raising of Lazarus immediately before the triumphal entry. Each author is telling a story within the story, putting an emphasis on something a little different than the other authors.

But in the story itself, Jesus is riding on the colt of a donkey, something that kings would do if they were entering a city in peace. If they were entering for war they would ride a horse, a sign of power and war. In Matthew’s account, the people laid their cloaks and palm branches on the ground, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9 ESV). Hosanna means, “Please help!”

Upon entering the city Jesus cleaned out the temple. Again, according to Luke’s account Jesus first wept over Jerusalem because they didn’t know the things that make for peace. Instead of following Jesus, they chose to crucify him and Jesus knew that destruction was coming to the city. In 70 A.D. Jesus’ words came to fruition and the city was destroyed, including the temple. This Sunday we celebrate the peace we have in Christ our Savior.