Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Matthew 21:1-11 (NLT) As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,“Tell the people of Jerusalem,

  ‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
    riding on a donkey’s colt.’”

The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God for the Son of David!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Praise God in highest heaven!”

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

As we enter the week preceding Easter Sunday, we are probably already caught up in the busyness of life. It is spring break for some, there are festivals occurring, spring ball games, and activities galore. It is definitely a fun time of the year. However, if we aren’t careful, we may just glide right through Easter without pausing to truly reflect and celebrate the glory and significance of the day. If you will indulge me, let us take a little dive into Passion Week and look at scripture as it relates to the most heartwrenching, yet soul redeeming day of the year. Let’s take a look at scripture and remember what we are celebrating this week.

We begin in Matthew 21 with Jesus’ triumphal entry. We recognize this day as Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Easter week. Scripture tells us that people cut palm branches, waved them in the air, and laid the Palm branches and their cloaks on the ground as Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey.

The King of kings had finally arrived. This is the King prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. The King arrived gently on a donkey as Zechariah foretold about 500 years earlier. Jesus was finally proclaiming his kingship, and whether the people truly recognized Him for who He was or not, prophesy was fulfilled. The people greeted him as He arrived in Jerusalem as they would greet a king. They cut branches and laid them out on the road before Jesus and laid their cloaks on the road to the city. The branches represented victory, a victory over death that would soon come to fruition.

As He passed through the city, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9b HCSB) Hosanna is often translated “Please Save Us.”  It is a Greek word “ὡσαννά” that most scholars believe is the transliteration of two Hebrew words- יָשַׁע- “yasha” which means “to save or deliver” and אָנּאָ – “anna” which means “please, I beseech.” Other scholars believe its Hebrew roots come from a different verb tense of “yasha” הוֹשַׁ֣ע which means to cause or to bring about salvation. In this tense, hosanna becomes a command to bring about or cause salvation. I like the translation, “please save us.”

As Jesus rode the donkey into the city, the people shouted Hossanna just one short week before the cross. The people were shouting in joy and adoration. They were shouting “Save us!” They had no idea of the events which were about to occur. They had no idea that this man on a donkey would soon suffer a gruesome death on a cross only to be resurrected 3 days later to save them…to save you…and to save me!

Jesus arrived then on a lowly, gentle donkey. He arrived quietly but definitively asserting His kingship on His way to the cross. May we reflect today on the triumphant arrival of our King. May we remember that He came for each of us, and may we remember that He is coming again. But the next time, He won’t arrive gently on a donkey. He will return on a white horse bringing judgement just as He promised. Our pastor left us with this statement today, ” Don’t risk meeting Jesus on the war horse when you’ve rejected Him on the donkey.” (Pastor Shane Moore)

May we shout with joy and adoration and praise the One who saves. If you haven’t yet called out for Him to save you. Let today be the day.


KK Hodge

2 thoughts on “Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

  1. Hello from the UK

    Many thanks for your post. I note that ‘Hosanna’ is an anagram of ‘ASN Noah’.

    ASN can mean Advance Shipping Notice. As there is Noah’s ark, shipping seems appropriate. Jesus is the heavenly Father’s Advance Shipping Notice.

    Get on board quick before the flood comes!

    “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.

    For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away.

    So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.…”


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