A King on a donkey receives a triumphal entry

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By HELEN HOSIER

There’s an Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9), which foretold that one day the King of Zion would appear “riding on a donkey,” and in the New Testament (John 12:12-15) that prophecy is fulfilled.

A large crowd had gathered in Jerusalem upon hearing that Jesus was coming, and they “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who cones in the name of the Lord!’ And Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Behold your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt’”

This is referred to as “the triumphal entry,” the day referred to as Palm Sunday in churches throughout the land. Certainly, this is not the way kings ordinarily travel. We associate great pomp and splendor with kings and their retinue, but step by step, Jesus moved in perfect harmony with the Father’s plan.

Palm branches have always been used as an emblem of victory and triumph. The crowd waved the branches as an expression of joy. It was, however, a fickle throng swayed by expectations that Jesus would set up the “Kingdom of their father David.”

It has been said that the voices which that day cried, “Hosanna,” very soon after hissed, “Crucify him!” And the Gospel narratives relate the story of his crucifixion. But that day, Jesus moved quietly along. The people were all unconscious actors in the greatest drama of all time in the account we call Easter.

But as Jesus beheld the city, he wept over it (Luke 19:41). A King crying? And today, as believers in this account, we live on the Easter side of history. This is at the very core of what we believe — Jesus went to a cruel death, crucifixion, so that those who trust Him don’t have to live in the darkness of sin and we can claim the promises of His resurrection. That’s the good news of Easter.

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