Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech. 9:9)
The time for celebrating the Passover was approaching, and every festival brought thousands of faithful Israelites to Jerusalem. There was an undercurrent of talk among the people about Jesus, the man who had been teaching and performing mighty miracles throughout the region. Many had been healed of diseases and conditions considered hopeless. A man named Lazarus had even been raised from the dead after being in a tomb for four days.
There was great anticipation and excitement. Everyone wondered what Jesus would do next. But not all the people were excited about Jesus arriving in the city for the Passover. The scribes, chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious leaders were afraid of Jesus, and wanted to stop His influence. But up to that point, they were unable to do anything because the people were listening to every word He said, and many were following Him.
Jesus and His disciples neared Bethphage, a small village by the Mount of Olives, about half a mile out of Jerusalem. Jesus instructed the disciples to go into the village, find a donkey and its colt, untie them and return the animals to Him, which they did. The disciples then laid their garments on the colt and helped set Jesus on it.
As Jesus began His exuberant entrance into Jerusalem, many people gathered on the road and spread their clothes in front of him. Others cut down branches and lay them on the road. The multitudes followed along, praising God for all the mighty works they had seen, and shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
By the time Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the entire city was enthusiastic, and some people were saying, “Who is this?” Many said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Jealous and agitated at the uproar, some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” Jesus replied, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
On this occasion, for a brief period of time, Jesus heard the words of praise and adoration He justly deserved. But those moments were fleeting. Jesus knew He was fulfilling scripture, and nearing the time when He would give His life as the perfect sacrifice for sin, the Lamb of God.
The occasion of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is currently celebrated as Palm Sunday.