On this day around two-thousand years ago, my Savior led a parade of people into the city of Jerusalem.
Whereas the Roman tradition called for dominant soldiers to follow their emperor into each city on glorious horseback, Jesus Christ entered on the back of a dirty mule. Less than spectacular in sight and notion, but served as a proclamation of power against the Roman authorities: even if that power could not be immediately seen.
An army followed Him, expecting His parade to end with the overthrowing of the Roman power structure in the Holy City. In fact, two of His closest followers asked if they could sit by His side at the throne.
From this point forward, Jesus and His disciples would be watched even more closely than they ever had been before. With the self-proclamation to power, it is a wonder why the Romans were so willing to hang this Jesus of Nazareth on a cross.
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was not as superficially triumphant as it seemed at the time. Though Jesus was claiming triumph as a king, it would only be five more days until His earthly body was put to death and the people following Him realized that He would not end the imminent Roman oppression that they had hoped. Instead, He would conquer an inescapable oppression much greater than that of the Romans. He would conquer sin, and what had previously been inescapable could now be overcome by all in Jesus’ name.
Jesus claimed a kingly power when He rode into Jerusalem, and a Kingly power He has. Will we follow Him in that respect, or only yearn for salvation from the imminent dangers surrounding us?