Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it.5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. – Mark 11:1-11
The people on Palm Sunday are shouting Jesus’ praise. Many have gathered, and they shout, “Hosanna!” which means “save now!” They are seeking Jesus’ attention and singing his praises. They realize who Jesus is and seek his redeeming grace. They properly worship him because he is majestic and worthy of praise – even when seated on a donkey. His is a majesty that is like no other.
That they would recognize Jesus for who he is as he rides in on a donkey is important to their cries. I believe they saw in Jesus a fulfillment of God’s promises, the power of which is the meekness and humility with which Jesus rides into Jerusalem.
This is the power of an identity fully grounded in God. Jesus has nothing to prove. He needs no accolades. He is not worried about being overlooked or ignored. He knows what lies ahead. Yet he is fully willing to receive their praises, and listen to their cries for salvation.
Jesus didn’t go just to the bottom 25% to seek and save the lost people of the world; he went all the way to the cross. His ride into Jerusalem is a display of meekness and majesty that will be more fully revealed on a cross on Friday, and vindicated by an empty tomb on Easter Sunday.
I have had occasion to see major shows of power and might. These leave an impression to be sure. But I have been more deeply and profoundly touched by kindness, grace, love, and humility. This is the essence of Jesus, and an encounter with his meekness and majesty makes all the difference for all eternity.