Sunday Reflection: Who is This?

Today being Palm Sunday, I’m taking a break from Mark to offer a simple Sunday reflection on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

Some points for reflection:

1. Jesus’ entry into the holy city was planned and meaningful.

His actions are like an ‘acted parable’ drawing upon Zechariah’s hopes of Israel’s liberator come at last:

9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation

2. Jesus’ entry symbolises the return of the king to Zion – yet a king come in humility and peace

gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
But he will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth

This acted parable foreshadows Easter – that the Messiah would surprise everyone in fulfilling his mission not by a victory of power and might, but by suffering and death … and the whole city is shaken (Greek ‘seismic’) asking Who is this Jesus?

The events immediately following reveal this dual identity – glory, authority and power, yet embodied in servanthood, humility and self-giving.

Authority and power in cleansing the temple the very dwelling place of God. Glory in accepting worship only due to Yahweh himself.

Humility and self-giving – because this authority and power are not used for his own purposes or advantage but freely and voluntarily given to set his people free.

‘Who is This’? the crowds ask. This is the Lord, the servant-king, Jesus Christ from Nazareth, who is worthy of our praise and worship.

The Triumphal Entry

1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5“Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”

10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

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One thought on “Sunday Reflection: Who is This?

  1. The promised ‘Prince of Peace’ had indeed come… that’s why the the crowds bellowed ‘Hosanna’ – literally “save now” Jesus.

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