When our loved ones return home we are always glad to see them. However, the extent of our joy is usually in direct correlation to how long they have been away — a few hours, a day, many days, a year ... or longer. The longer we wait for someone to arrive, typically the more excited we are to see them and the greater our joy in their return.
The Triumphal Entry
There was a jubilant atmosphere among the people of Israel on the day in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people had waited a long time for the promised Messiah. Since the time of Abraham, they had longed to see their promised King, the Seed promised in the Garden and confirmed to Abraham–the Seed who would conquer their enemies and bless the nations (Genesis 22:17-18).
For centuries Israel had awaited the coming of their King, but this King did not look as they would have expected.
- Kings rode on horses. This King rode on a donkey.
- Kings were adorned in royal apparel. This King wore the clothes of a humble peasant.
- Kings were accompanied by an entourage of fighting men. This King rode in alone, followed only by a few friends.
- Kings had many servants. This King served many.
- Kings wore crowns of gold and precious gems. This King would wear a crown of thorns.
- Kings were protected at all costs. This King would give His life paying the cost of sin.
- Kings made loud proclamations and the people were silence. This King was silent when the people were loud.
This King was unlike any other king, and yet this King’s entry into town was hailed by the people.
"And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mark 11:9)
"Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest." (Mark 11:10)
The people expected a King and they hailed Him as King. They expected the Kingdom of David to be re-established, but that's not what they got. It was what they wanted, but it was not what they needed. Jesus had not come to be King of the land. He came to be the King of their hearts. God's plan was very different than what the people had hoped for.