Humble King


Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!

Palm Sunday is the day we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem in the week before His death on the cross. The day was full of pageantry and joy.

How does a Rabbi's riding into Jerusalem on a donkey mark the triumphal entry of a King into His capital city? Is this the first century equivalent of a ticker tape parade? What does "hosanna" mean? There is more here than meets the eye!

Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey is a sign of the fulfillment of prophecy. Zechariah 9:9 says, "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." This verse was understood to refer to Israel's Messiah. Messiah is a Hebrew word that means "anointed One." The Greek version of Messiah is Christ.

God promised to send an anointed One to sit on David's throne and right every wrong, ushering in a Kingdom of shalom - of peace. Jesus is that anointed One. His riding into Jerusalem on a donkey is a sign of His identity.

The crowd at Jesus' triumphal entry was exuberant in praise and joy. The particular word they used to greet Jesus that day also has Messianic meaning. Hosanna! It literally means, "save, Lord." Messiah is the One who is coming to save - to redeem Israel and usher in God's Kingdom. Essentially the crowd was crying out:

Save, Lord!

Blessed is He who come in the name of the Lord!

Save in the highest!

The crowd was calling out for Jesus to save. They were expecting the saving to throw Rome out of Israel and make her a sovereign nation again, with Jesus as the King. Jesus was entering Jerusalem to save. The salvation He came to win, however, was not a military one. He entered Jerusalem to go to the cross and die for the sins of all humanity. He rode that donkey into Jerusalem in order to die for them. And for me. And for you.

A humble Rabbi riding a humble donkey rode into Jerusalem to complete the greatest mission ever attempted. The Son of God and King of the universe humbled Himself to take on flesh-and-blood in order to die to pay the price for the sins of the world. By dying in our place He redeemed us from sin and death.

That day in Jerusalem Jesus was welcomed. A few days later He was crucified. This humble King enters where He is welcomed. His salvation seals the lives of those who receive Him by faith as Savior and King. His Kingship (Lordship) sets people free from the chains of our broken past. Jesus, the humble King, sets us free to live lives that honor God and please Him.

When a person makes Jesus Lord (King) of life, it means renouncing the lordship of self and the lordship of Satan. Just as a sign proclaiming, "Under New Management" declares that changes have happened and are happening, so the change of lordship from self to Jesus means transformation is taking place. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Like the Palm Sunday crowd, I seek to both welcome Jesus into my life and call out to Him to save me. From sin. From death. From myself. From selfishness. From all that leads to death to all that leads to life.


Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!

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