The story of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem begins holy week with such joy; yet the message of Christ’s love and compassion is only magnified by our understanding of what He entered Jerusalem to do for our salvation.
The King of Kings came into Jerusalem not on a warhorse, but on a donkey’s colt. This was a deliberate gesture by Jesus, symbolic of His gentleness and compassion. Matthew the evangelist recognized that Christ’s coming in this way to the city fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey'” (Matt. 21:5, NIV).
Here is the compassion of the Lord of all things. He comes to us not with a flaming sword of wrath, but humbly and gently, bearing His message of grace. He comes to bear Himself our sins upon the cross. And there He will triumph, conquering Satan, sin, and death.
The crowds acted better than they knew to greet Him with the cry “Hosanna!” ‘God, save!’ is what it means; and here came God their Savior, our God and Savior, to save us from our sins.
Hosanna! Blessed is our Lord and King!