Triumphal Entry

Holy Week Reflections: the Parade

Everyone loves a parade. If the Rule of Fame actually bears out, and we all get our fifteen minutes, the world will throw one in honor of each of us one day. With some diligence, there may even be more than one. Put the pedal to the metal, and the parades might have some regularity.

And I wonder, if I’m gut-level honest: where’s my parade? (Quite a bit of soul-searching can be done around this point alone!)

These are just a couple of the many thoughts that stuck with me from my pastor’s message this weekend. I’m not sure I ever imagined the Triumphal Entry as a parade. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the ancient-modern disconnect in my mind. Now I imagine the crowd lining the road, hollering Hosanna! And the disciples were surely jockeying for close proximity to the God-Man who proclaimed his Lordship from the foal on which he rode (Matthew 21:5). The King, Israel’s Deliverer, had come!

The picture-message wasn’t lost on the crowd. The Savior was obviously in their presence, and they were thrilled. Hosanna!

Freedom from their oppressors could be seen, even tasted. People had been watching for some time. In a couple years this carpenter’s son had proven his understanding of the Scriptures, had healed all kinds of diseases, and commanded demons. No one was like him. Rabbi Yeshua had only to ascend to the political seat where he could finish the deal. Israel would have a Teacher-Healer-Savior-King.


Say the word, Rabbi, and this crowd will back you. A wave of your hand, and they will go with you. Ask, and they will go before, alongside, or behind you in a coup d’état. Just say the word, Yeshua.

The crowd had it wrong—well, maybe not all wrong. Yeshua was worthy of their attention, praise, and accolades! He was the Son of David, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee, the gentle king (Matthew 21). He was the Lord (Luke 19:34), and came in the name of the Lord (v. 38). This rabbi was the Savior who would free them—in ways they could never imagine. He was not the political figure they thought.

And Yeshua passed through the parade.

Beyond the pressing crowd, the cheers, the cloaks, the palm branches.

Down the road, into Jerusalem’s narrow streets, toward his Father’s house.

Ultimately, he would slowly, painfully hobble out of town on a different road. Brutally wounded. Bleeding.

Yeshua didn’t quiet or rebuke them. They should do this thing, hold this parade in his honor, with their limited understanding. It was exactly as it should be—exactly as it had been foretold. This grand moment wasn’t why he came. The people would know soon enough how events would unfold.

He would be their gentle King, if they would have him. All the followers of the Messiah could be saved by the God-Man (Son of God and Son of Man), if they would follow. Everyone would watch with their own eyes, not completely understanding, but witnessing prophecy fulfilled. Some would even see him ascend to the heavens to sit on his royal throne.

For now, a parade.


Soon another crowd would display an uglier side of humanity. Cries for crucifixion and jeers would replace these cheers.

And Jesus would love. Sacrificially.



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