June 19, 2009

A Triumphal Entry?

Mark 11:1-11

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Mark 11:9


How should we view Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem? Was it an event to celebrate, or a day of sadness?

For many who saw Jesus riding into the city, it was a day of rejoicing. They lined the streets, shouting, “Hosanna!” (a shout of praise), expecting Jesus to restore Israel to its former glory. With excitement and religious fervor, the people shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

Today we look differently on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.Weknowthatthepeopleshouting “Hosanna” had false expectations. They expected Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom, with them at the top. But that wasn’t his mission, and they were soon disappointed. In fact, just a few days later, the mood became ugly. A disciple of Jesus betrayed him; religious leaders called for his execution; soldiers mocked him, flogged him, and spat on him; and the Roman governor had him crucified.

Why, then, do Christians still call it a “triumphal entry“? Because we’ve learned from the Scriptures the purpose of Jesus’ suffering and death. Though innocent, he suffered for the guilt of our sins. What’s more, he did not remain dead but arose triumphantly from the grave—and that’s something to celebrate!

For us, Christ’s entry is truly a sign of glory to come!

Thank you, Father, for giving us your Son, who suffered, died, and rose from the dead for our sake. Blessed is the coming kingdom you have promised! Hallelujah! Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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