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Emperors and generals have ridden into cities in triumphal processions in the annals of human history. But none of them have captured the imagination of the masses or have had such enduring appeal to people across all cultures and nations like the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday two thousand years ago amidst the cries of “Hosanna.”
The show of power was remarkably absent in this ride of conquest. Jesus rode into Jerusalem in gentleness in contrast to the pomp of heroes who returned victorious from war.
Let us now look at some characteristics of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem:
It was a public entry as masses had gathered in Jerusalem to attend the Passover.
It was a courageous entry as the religious leaders were already plotting to take his life.
It was a humble entry as he came riding on a borrowed donkey.
It was a king’s entry as people hailed him as the long-awaited Messiah and as the Son of David.
It was a joyous entry as children were shouting “Hosanna” (meaning “save now”) and rejoicing before him waving palm branches.
It was a peaceful entry by the Prince of Peace into the City of Peace.
He knew that in the space of a few days the cries of acclamation and “Hosanna” would give way to the cry of “Crucify, Crucify.”
He knew the hearts of men and how people would refuse to listen to the truth and instead side with popular vote against him soon.
He knew that he was going to be rejected, scorned, mocked, despised, spat upon, stripped naked, hit with fists and staff, flogged with whips and crowned with thorns and that they would make him bleed.
He knew it all.
Yet he chose to ride as king to Jerusalem where he would bleed and die for the sin of the world and for the forgiveness of your sins and mine.
See the king in lowly majesty.
He stands before you today for your verdict: “Hosanna” or “Crucify?”
Which one would you choose?