Today we enter the most sacred week of the Church’s year. Yesterday we celebrated the raising of Lazarus from the dead, showing Christ’s authority over death. Today, we commemorate His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, showing His identity as King and Ruler of all. By entering Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus Christ comes to us in a new way, and sets off the chain of events that will inaugurate His Kingdom.
With this triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, we see Him revealed not simply as a teacher, but as the King who is welcomed by His subjects. However, He does not simply come as some general King “out there,” but He comes to each of us personally. Just as the children welcomed Him into Jerusalem, so we are challenged to welcome Him into our hearts, to respond to Him with love and obedience, and to allow Him to reshape our desires according to His will.
Moreover, our King comes to us in meekness and humility, riding on a donkey. Unlike an earthly King, He comes to proclaim a Kingdom that is “not of this world,” but which will still have an impact on the world. He comes to teach us the power of humility and the strength of love, a teaching that will find its ultimate expression in His death on the Cross, a death that is ultimately the supreme victory over death.
He who sits upon the throne of the cherubim, for our sake sits upon a foal; and coming to His voluntary Passion, today He hears the children cry ‘Hosanna!’ while the crowd replies, ‘O Son of David, make haste to save those whom Thou hast created, blessed Jesus, since for this cause Thou has come, that we may know Thy glory.’
From Matins for Palm Sunday