- The King Enters Jerusalem
When the Roman general, Pompey, entered Jerusalem in 63 B.C., he came in as a conqueror. The Romans officially subjugated the Jews on that occasion. It was a terrible time for the Jews as they became subjected to the cruel and violent Roman empire. Other kings and conquerors had entered Jerusalem. Many of them! But, no king ever entered Jerusalem with more authority than Jesus Christ. In A.D. 30 (by some reckonings, A.D. 33), Jesus came into the city on what we know as Palm Sunday, riding on a lowly donkey. Read the following carefully to see the significance of this event.
Monday…Read Zechariah 9:9 and compare it with the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19 and John 12) “Triumphal Entry.” Astounding! This event was predicted around 500 years before it happened! For starters, this event was a prophetic event that shows Jesus’ Sonship and rightful claim to be the Messiah.
Tuesday…You will want to carefully read the Gospel accounts of this event. As you do, notice what the crowd is saying: “Hosanna” which is a wonderful word that means, “Save” or “Save us.” Do you see? This crowd wants to be saved from Roman oppression and they are thinking that Jesus may be just the one to lead the rebellion. After all, many in this crowd had seen miracles performed by this young Rabbi. Maybe he could wipe out the Romans? Maybe he could be the one to end nearly 100 years of Roman rule. Jesus would be the one to save, alright…but not as this crowd thought.
Wednesday…Notice also that the crowd waved palm branches. Palm branches were symbolic of the Hasmonean/Maccabeean family which had freed the Jews from the Syrian yoke of bondage around 167 B.C. Now do we see? This crowd says to Jesus, “As the Maccabeeans freed us and saved us from the Syrians nearly 200 years ago, you save us from the Romans now.” Hosanna and the palm branches are very, very significant indeed.
Thursday…Notice also that the crowd took off their outer garments and spread them in the path of the donkey. We easily see the significance here. This crowd is showing humility and obeisance as Jesus rides in. It is hard to imagine that a scant five days later, this crowd which was filling the city as the Passover drew near, would be shouting, “Crucify him!” Have you ever noticed that when Jesus is not what people expect or demand today that they, like their counterparts from yesteryear, are quick to abandon Him and revile Him?
Friday…The entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem kicks off “Holy Week.” On Monday, Jesus would clean out the Temple, on Tuesday the “Great Day of Questions” would occur in the Temple, on Wednesday we do not know what Jesus did and on Thursday preparation was made to meet at John Mark’s mother’s home in Jerusalem to celebrate the Last Supper. Thursday evening and on into Friday morning, Jesus would be tried in six illegal trials after His arrest and on Friday He would be crucified. Holy week indeed! Thank you, Jesus!
By Dale Holzbauer