We’re coming to the close of Holy Week. For the Christian, this most sacred of weeks started with Palm Sunday. That’s when we celebrate our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Many of us waved our palm branches this past Sunday in honor of Jesus’s victory parade, if you will, as Messiah.
We sang “Hosanna!” which means “Save us now!” and we learned it was in fact a war cry of sorts. The people were calling out to God, echoing the words from Psalm 118.25-26, “O Yahweh, save us! (Hosanna!) O Yahweh, grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh.” Because surely the one who comes in the name of the Lord will save his people from despair.
Entering Jerusalem in this manner, accompanied by these shouts of praise and petition, was not an accident. Jesus knew exactly what he was doing. He was creating a living parable. He was acting out a message about his person and his purpose. He had something he wanted to communicate and he did it in grand style.
My brother pointed this out to me in a devotional he wrote recently for his church’s website: “Instead of just entering the city with his disciples as he had in times past, this time Jesus chose to stage a drama to make a statement. Drawing on the history of the Jewish people from the time of David, mixing in imagery from the prophets, Jesus proclaimed the he was God’s king and chosen one and ruler over his kingdom.”
A drama. An enacted parable. A teaching tool.