It was the calm before the storm. Jesus, knowing full well that an ominously foreboding future lay ahead for Him, was mounted on a donkey, casually riding into Jerusalem to greet a desperately eager group of people longing for their Messiah. Palm branches, cloaks, and garments were strewn before Him for the donkey to trod over—much like the red carpet rolled out for celebrities or the white runner rolled out for a bride as she promenades down the aisle. This crowd was ready for a King, so Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
“Hosanna to the Son of David!” the crowd cheered. “Save now! Save, we pray!” they were saying. The group knew Jesus was royalty. He was their long-awaited King who was already healing the sick, teaching, and prophesying with great authority. He was doing so many signs, wonders, and miracles that it was impossible to list them all, especially since He asked that not many be broadcast among the villages.
The Calm Sunday our Lord enjoyed on His donkey ride was a triumphant and jubilant occasion. He came among the people as a humble Servant-King. He instructed his disciples to bring him a donkey with a foal, and Bible scholars believe He probably road the foal while its mother plodded along beside them. How different from the majestic, powerful horses most kings rode as they paraded into crowds after a victorious battle or pompous procession. The prophet Zechariah said, “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden” (Zechariah 9:9).
How beautiful the day unfolded. What hope and joy Jesus brought! Imagine how many sick and needy people lined the streets as King Jesus rode by. To catch a glimpse of this gentle, loving, kind man who harnessed the power of Almighty God and spoke words of comfort and release that came directly from the Throne Room of God—it just couldn’t get any better! King Jesus was so well received and appreciated.
Calm Sunday was glorious. But oh, how things changed that week. Within a few days, knowing the imminent death that was coming, Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane as He asked Father God to reconsider and let the cup of death pass from Him. It did not. The betrayal of Judas, one of Christ’s disciples, occurred as the catalyst that started the process of the torturous death our Lord endured. Trials, mocking, brutal beatings, and finally, crucifixion came within five days of Calm Sunday.
Unthinkable. Many of the same people who spread their garments and palm branches for King Jesus to ride over were now shouting, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Believing lies and slanderous accusations against King Jesus, the voices of an angry mob rose above Christ’s followers, and the death and burial of the Son of God transpired.
How easily they were swayed. How effortless it was to compromise a commitment to Christ based on lies generated by the devil. He still tries to do that, you know. But I declare that the same Jesus Christ who made His triumphant entry as King Jesus into Jerusalem on Calm Sunday is King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever!!
© 2023, Chris Werre