Emperors and generals have ridden into cities in triumphal processions in the annals of human history. But none of them has captured the imagination of the masses or has such enduring appeal to people across all cultures and nations like the entry of Jesus to 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 of gentleness in contrast to that of heroes of war returning.
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 to 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 at, mocked, despised, spat upon, stripped, 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 die.
See the king in lowly majesty.
He stands before you today for your verdict: “Hosanna” or “Crucify?”
Which one would you choose?