Summary: The Triumphal Entry by Jesus on Palm Sunday will remain in history as one of the best organized confrontation to the powers that be. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem proved He was the real leader and not Rome nor the High Priest. For this, He had to die.
PUBLIC PARADE PROVOKES PUNISHMENT
The Triumphal Entry was the final death knell for our Lord. Jesus had been in the Jerusalem area ever since He raised Lazarus from the grave and He had been the center of everyone’s talk and wonderment. Staying outside of the Holy City, He waited for the right time to make His entry.
Within the City, people were congregating from all over Israel for the Passover which they would be celebrating that week. While the many flowed into the City, the word was asked by everyone, “Will He be coming to the Passover?” The people knew that Jesus had now gained the attention of the religious hierarchy and the Roman Government and the question burned with excitement over His plans and the exact nature of His next move.
According to John 12:12, people heard rumors that indeed He was coming and soon He appeared walking towards the gates of the City. Without any prompting from the disciples, the Bible says that the multitude began to line the streets, taking off their outer garments and laying them on the cobblestone road while displaying palm branches, proclaiming Him as their King. Following the spontaneous actions of the people, He mounted a donkey and rode into the city as a conquering Hero.
Suddenly the Roman government officials along with the religious leaders of that day, were thrown into a complete quandary as to what to do with this “Prophet” who was accepting the reverence from the Jewish people in the most holiest week of the Jewish calendar-Passover.
The tension mounted to the boiling point as the possibility of something happening which could spiral out of control very quickly. News spread across the entire City that Jesus had entered, riding a donkey, accepting the platitudes of the people, while ignoring Rome and the Jewish religious leaders. Outside on the streets, the crowd grew and grew. Amidst the approbation of the common people there swelled a giant chorus of praise and worship. On the inside of the Antonia Fortress where Pilate was residing, he watched with nervous tension. Herod, was close by in his humongous palace and was hushed as he saw a potential threat to Rome and to himself unfolding before his very eyes. Inside the Temple, the High Priest anxiously waited to see what this “rabbi” would be doing next.
The parade ended at the Temple and Jesus dismounted the donkey, walked inside the Temple, looked around and left-broken hearted. The crowd dispersed, the tensions abated across the city, but this event would not go unchallenged by Rome or the Jewish leaders. This was too close for comfort and both Rome and the High Priest decided that some type of action had to take place and very quickly lest He bring all the might of Rome and the weighty religious legal system crashing down on their heads. Within the week of this glorious outpouring of acceptance by the common people, Jesus would die. This Public Parade Provoked Punishment for Jesus.