He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
‘Hosanna to the Son of David’
Rev. A. D. Hall
He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord’
Thank you for navigating to this page, I do hope this short reflection about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday leaves you with something to think about and helps you begin your journey into Holy Week this year
We have probably all heard, said or sung the phrases - ‘Hosanna to the Son of David” and ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.’
But what do they mean, just what was Jesus saying to the people in His day and How do they relate to us today in our world?
A good way of understanding Jesus’ ministry is by focusing on what he did rather than what he said; and even when he does speak, his words are reflections on his actions.
His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is so often seen as a sign of his humility, his majesty clothed in meekness. When actually it was a deliberate, politically and religiously provocative act. a statement to those in the crowd that day who knowing the scriptures would be able to directly relate this to the prophecy in Zechariah; they knew what Jesus was saying.
Take time to meditate upon the image above, try to imagine yourself in the story.
Jerusalem was in a fever like state, people were shouting, screaming, singing, noise, noise, noise, like never before. At the same time knives were being sharpened, loose tongues were wagging, fingers were being pointed.
All around people were saying, - “He is coming, the Messiah is here!”
As our Palm gospel reminds us, two of his disciples had gone on ahead as instructed and found a donkey tied up with a colt, they untied them and brought them to Jesus. All they had to say was “The Lord has need of them.”
As this drama began to unfold, again his disciples were learning the lesson, “Do as he tells you!”
Receiving the animals Jesus smiled, this was something he often did, smiled.
It made such an impact on so many occasions, his smile was able to convey, a calmness and surety, as often the Disciples were at sixes and sevens, not knowing, what, how, why or when they needed to do things. Perhaps just like us now?
What was in Jesus’ heart as he rode along on a donkey?
For sure he knew the shallowness of much of the praise, he also knew the holiness of it all too. He was fully aware that the people who were proclaiming him king, included a range of people; the devoted, the zealots, pharisees, and the religious types, simple everyday folk, people who just happened to be going to Jerusalem, almost by accident?
He also knew that this ride of triumph was in fact a ride towards his death, and that this same crowd who praised him would in a few days’ time be shouting for his crucifixion, with just the same ignorance and lack of understanding.
The majesty and triumph of this moment were laced with fear and sadness for him, each step forward a crushing blow to his flesh and spirit. Perhaps on one level that’s why he chose the colt, an innocent unbridled, to help him journey into the darkness that awaited him.
But there was no turning back, his mind was set, firmly fixed on the task at hand. Love compelled him forward, love was the reason, he was willing to go into the place where he was to be despised, misunderstood and rejected.
His love for us; a “Love that never ends, but bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” was his reason.
Friends, let us take hold of Christ’s love for us this week, let it take root in our hearts, so that as we follow Christ’s journey to the cross we may experience his true resurrection when we celebrate Easter.
I leave you with the words of George Herbert; priest and scholar, 1593 - 1632
LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’
Love said, ‘You shall be he.’
‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.’
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
‘Who made the eyes but I?’
‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.’
‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’
‘My dear, then I will serve.’
‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’
So I did sit and eat.