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THE SO-CALLED “TRIUMPHAL ENTRY”
Things are not always what they seem! Such is certainly the case in [Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem]… The so-called “triumphal entry” of our Lord into Jerusalem is anything but a triumph, as we can see from the tears shed by our Lord in Luke’s… account (Luke 19:41-44). Those who enthusiastically welcome Jesus to Jerusalem as the “King of Israel” are some of the same people who, in a week’s time, will be crying out, “We have no king, but Caesar!” (John19:15). Those who cry out, “Hosanna!” (Save now!)…, will be shouting, “He saved others. Let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, His chosen one!” (Luke 23:35). It is not a triumphal entry at all, but nonetheless it is a very significant event in the life of our Lord and in the history of the nation Israel…
The fact that every Gospel has an account of the “triumphal entry” of our Lord into Jerusalem indicates to us that it is indeed a most significant event. On our Lord’s part, it is a most dramatic and emphatic claim to be the Messiah, the “King of Israel.” At the same time, it is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. Jesus does not come as a conquering king, ready to lead Israel against the Romans, overthrowing their rule. He has come as the “Prince of Peace” and as the “Lamb of God,” whose death will provide the cure for sin. I am reminded of the spiritual that goes something like this, “Poor little Jesus boy, they didn’t know who You was …” This song refers to the birth of our Lord, but it applies equally well to His “triumphal entry.” They still don’t know who He is.
— Robert L. Deffinbaugh, from bible.org