This picture of Jesus rolling into Jerusalem on a donkey is loaded with images that we may not necessarily get. The crowd puts their coats on the road, as well as palm branches (this is where we get “Palm Sunday” from the week before Easter). This whole scene has been done before. When a nation’s king goes out to fight and comes back home with a victory, there is a parade into the capitol. The king rides in on a his horse, with soldiers behind him, and all of the stuff he has conquered and brought back behind them. So it goes king on a horse, tons of victorious and happy soldiers, and then the gold, money and slaves. The city has a HUGE party that everyone is home safe, and they all celebrate what a great king they have. This had been done around the world for several hundreds of years.
So, in comes Jesus. On a donkey. But He is given the royal treatment. They all shout “Hosanna” which basically translates out “Thank God we’re saved!” This sets the whole town to talking. Jerusalem is no small country bump in the road. Over a hundred thousand probably lived there at the time. The whole city is talking about who this guy is who came in like a king.
The answer is “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth”.
Lot’s of excitement, but the wrong answer. They get the passion, and they are thrilled He’s there. But they don’t get who He really is, or why He has come.
In less than a week, they will kill Him.
It’s so easy for me to do this. I get so excited about Jesus, but miss what He’s really up to. When He doesn’t live up to what I want Him to be, I kill Him. Or at least I try to. He’s kind of hard to keep down.
What about you? Where do you want Jesus to be something He isn’t? How do you respond when He takes a different direction in your life than you want? It’s worth thinking about.