The triumphal entry—celebrated the world over in churches—but what does it mean? In these first eleven verses, we begin to get a sense of it. Jesus is coming as a king to Jerusalem, as the King, but he is not the king (the Messiah) that many of the people were hoping for. He came riding on a colt, not a war horse; he was not coming in military power, but in saving might. He came humble, he came to die, and so win back for us newness of life in his name. When, then, we celebrate the triumphal entry, we are celebrating the true meaning of the work of Jesus: that he is this King Jesus, the one who rode in humble, on a colt.
We are also celebrating the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises—that at least some of the crowd seemed in some way to understand. They used the great messianic psalm, Psalm 118, and rejoiced in the coming kingdom of their father David. This was great David’s Greater Son! How much they truly grasped what was about to happen, we can only guess—though from the religious treatment later when he was handed over to Jerusalem, we may assume that there was far from unanimous understanding of Jesus’ true purpose.
But much of this is still to come. The curse of the fig tree, which we will look at tomorrow, shows that Jesus, while coming to save, is also pronouncing a judgment on the fake, false, Pharisaic religion of his day.
This morning would you celebrate at the true Triumph of Jesus—that is King Jesus, the King who came to save, the crucified King.
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