Pastor's Pen

“ This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” – Matthew 21:4-5

Imagine this: a king, not arriving in grandeur, but humbly riding a simple creature. That's how Jesus, the Lord of glory, made His entrance into His reign. Despite its simplicity, His arrival on Palm Sunday in Jerusalem marked the start of the journey towards His ultimate exaltation (Matthew 21:1–11).

When we mention that almost no one could see it at the time, we're not talking about the initial reaction of the crowd of Passover pilgrims when they caught sight of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. After all, their greatest king had often traveled through the Holy City and the Promised Land in a similar manner (2 Samuel 13:29; 1 Kings 1:33). So, those who shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David!" on Palm Sunday anticipated a powerful, conquering king. They hoped for someone who would liberate them from their Gentile oppressors, just as David had defeated the Philistines centuries earlier.

The true adversaries to be vanquished were not pagan Gentiles, but rather sin and death. This battle couldn't be waged on a white horse with mighty armies. Instead, it demanded humility, a readiness to take the form of a servant, and to endure the punishment that God's people deserved for their sins (Philippians 2:5–11). Only by facing the worst that sin and death could inflict, could the Davidic king "outsmart" our enemies. While believing they were gaining the upper hand, sin, death, and even Satan himself failed to realize that their actions were ultimately under the sovereignty of God, ensuring His wrath would be satisfied through the death of His Son.

Unaware that by crucifying Jesus, they were sealing their own defeat, for the Son of David they executed was mightier than death. By traversing through death, He conquered it through His resurrection. Jesus endured the worst His adversaries could inflict and emerged victorious. His modest arrival in Jerusalem, fulfilling Zechariah's prophecy, foreshadowed His ultimate triumph.