Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday): 12 April 2020

Palm Sunday, in the Byzantine Rite –

Still at work making the fulfillment of prophecies of the Christ evident to all witting and willing to see, Jesus sends two of His disciples ahead from the Mount of Olives to fetch Him a ride: specifically a colt, the foal of a donkey.

He even gave specific instructions on where to obtain it, and what to say if and when asked. “The Lord has need of it,” they are to say, as it was this very particular mount on which Zion’s King is to arrive.

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9

A sincere, I think, and reverent elation catches on and sweeps Jerusalem. Some had already believed, upon the raising of Lazarus, if not before; others, no doubt, recognized the fulfillment of prophecies, and for them, we can suppose that other words and acts of Jesus suddenly fit into place and were understood in retrospect; we can imagine that many only came to trust the perspective of their more savvy friends and neighbors. In any case, a veritable multitude of faithful Jews made a splendid scene in Jerusalem that day, throwing down palm branches and their cloaks in the street before Christ, shouting “Hosanna!” and chanting the 118th Psalm: “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!” If we didn’t know the rest of the story, this could be the start of a happy resolution. Certainly, it appears to be the height of the Savior’s triumph so far, being acknowledged and adored as Messiah openly by great masses of His people.

If only so many of the voices crying “Hosanna” today wouldn’t be shouting “Crucify Him!” by next weekend.

Fortunately we aren’t saved by our own righteousness but by His. But more on that to come….

– Mor Clement

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