As we enter into this season of the glorious Resurrection, this is the week of Jesus‘ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. We hear many sermons and teachings on the entry, the passion, the crucifixion and the resurrection. We don’t, however, always know how they all fit together. If you don’t want to admit it, that’s fine. I didn’t always know how they all fit together and all of the consequences.
Jesus’ purpose in riding into Jerusalem was to make public His claim to be their Messiah and King of Israel in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. There is so much information on the symbolism of the donkey, the variations of the synoptic gospels, the Sanhedrin trial, the cultures of the day, why the palm branches were chosen, the great feasts and so much more that we just don’t have time to get into.
Unfortunately, the praise the people lavished on Jesus was not because they recognized Him as their Savior from sin. They welcomed Him out of their desire for a messianic deliverer, someone who would lead them in a revolt against Rome. There were many who, though they did not believe in Christ as Savior, nevertheless hoped that perhaps He would be to them a great temporal deliverer. These are the ones who hailed Him as King with their many hosannas, recognizing Him as the Son of David who came in the name of the Lord. But when He failed in their expectations, when He refused to lead them in a massive revolt against the Roman occupiers, the crowds quickly turned on Him.
Because of this, I just want to mention the “honors” that were given during that season that we don’t often think about.
- Procession of Honor – the Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women took a part while Jesus carried His own cross. This is the triumph awarded to Him who came to save us from our sins. Cruel taunts were His only praise.
- Wine of Honor – instead of a golden cup of wine, they offered vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) “mingled with gall,” or, “mingled with myrrh;” both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud His faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given Him by the Father.
- Guard of Honor – they showed their esteem by gambling over His garments.
- Throne of Honor – that throne was found upon a bloody tree. The cross was the full expression of the world’s feeling towards Him.
- Title of Honor – was “King of the Jews” but the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, or refused to accept it, and called Him “King of Thieves”. His glory was turned into shame by the sons of men.
The story of the triumphal entry is one of contrasts, and those contrasts contain applications to believers. It is the story of the King who came as a lowly servant on a donkey, not a prancing steed, not in royal robes, but on the clothes of the poor and humble. Jesus Christ comes not to conquer by force as earthly kings but by love, grace, mercy, and His own sacrifice for His people. His is not a kingdom of armies and splendor but of lowliness and servanthood. He conquers not nations but hearts and minds. His message is one of peace with God, not of temporal peace.
If Jesus has made a triumphal entry into our hearts, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we should exhibit those same qualities, and the world sees the true King living and reigning in triumph in us.
Have a wonderful Resurrection season!
Denyse H. Turner, L.H.D, M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady helping others win!
Picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Inner Healing Minister/Counselor/Public Speaker/Author/Trainer/Faith-Based Travel Educator
Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church