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The Triumphal Entry

Have you ever contemplated the significance of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem? Consider these thoughts from Phillip Yancey,

“The triumphal entry has about it an aura of ambivalence, and as I read all the accounts together, what stands out to me know is the slapstick nature of the affair. I imagine a Roman officer galloping up to check on the disturbance. He has attended processions in Rome where they do it right. The conquering general sits in a chariot of gold, with stallions straining at the reins and wheel spikes flashing in the sunlight. Behind him, officers in polished armor display the banners captured by vanquished armies. At the rear comes a ragtag procession of slaves and prisoners in chains, living proof of what happens to those who defy Rome.

In Jesus’ triumphal entry, the adoring crowd makes up the ragtag procession: the lame, the blind, the children, the peasants from Galilee and Bethany. When the officer looks for the object of their attention he spies a forlorn figure, riding on no stallion or chariot but on the back of a baby donkey, a borrowed coat draped across its backbone serving as his saddle.

Yes there was a whiff of triumph on Palm Sunday, but not the kind of triumph that might impress Rome and not the kind that impressed the crowds in Jerusalem for long either. What manner of king was this?” (The Jesus I Never Knew pg. 190)

The shouts from the crowds would later shift from “Hosanna” to “Crucify Him!”. The crown they would place on the head of this triumphant King would be a crown of thorns. As the hymn goes, “The humble King they named a fraud And sacrificed the Lamb of God”. Jesus took on this suffering for us.

May we remember His own words,

“the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

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