When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’
Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
What was Jesus doing at the Triumphal Entry?
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains:
Jesus claims the right of kings, known throughout antiquity, to requisition modes of transport.
The use of an animal on which no one had yet sat is a further pointer to the right of kings. Most striking, though, are the Old Testament allusions that give a deeper meaning to the whole episode. . . .
For now let us note this: Jesus is indeed making a royal claim. He wants his path and his action to be understood in terms of Old Testament promises that are fulfilled in his person. . . .
At the same time, through this anchoring of the text in Zechariah 9:9, a “Zealot” exegesis of the kingdom is excluded: Jesus is not building on violence; he is not instigating a military revolt against Rome. His power is of another kind: it is in God’s poverty, God’s peace, that he identifies the only power that can redeem [Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 2].
I saw a meme a day or two. It said “This is the Lentiest Lent I have ever Lented.” Isn’t that true? This time of the Corona virus, the sheltering in place, loss of jobs, fear for lives and how we live those lives, it is forming this Holy Week into something we have never seen before as our hearts yearn toward Easter.
Will we wait impatiently, longingly even, looking forward with anticipation to the dawning of Easter Sunday and the risen Savior that day belongs to? Will we be changed as we never really have before, or will this time of being locked out of our churches remove the unseen tie that bound us, and allow us to keep on sleeping late on Sundays, and savoring those lazy family mornings?
Most of us will not be attending our churches today. We will worship in the privacy of our homes, perhaps joining our church families online. May our hearts be full of longing for Easter Sunday, and for rejoining each other when we can.
We are a people of hope. From the triumphant Palm Sunday through the agony of Good Friday, we cast our eyes with faith, hope, and love toward Easter Sunday, for we know what lies behind that stone rolled to the side is the empty tomb.