Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest week in our liturgical calendar.  This day commemorates two very significant events in the life of Jesus Christ – His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the proclaiming of the passion. On this day, the Church re-enacts the entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem with a solemn procession, with songs and gestures mimicking the Hebrews who went to meet the Lord singing “Hosanna” holding palm branches in their hands. It was a joyous and victorious procession but it was also the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. In a few days’ time he would have been betrayed, scourged, mocked and nailed to the cross to die! What a dramatic turn of events! Why do we celebrate Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday? How has the re-enactment year after year made an impact on our lives? Were we there at the gate hailing, “Hosanna”? Were we also there crying, “crucify Him”?


Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem was a significant event mentioned in all the 4 Gospels. On that day, Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey that no one had ever sat on. Have you ever wondered why Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey? It does not sit with our modern day understanding of pomp in a procession. We would certainly be jolted or shocked by our Prime Minister entering the National Day parade on a donkey. In the days of Jesus, a ruler would ride on a donkey in civil processions and the leader would rider on a horse in a military procession. For example in 1 Kings 1:33, King David sent his son Solomon to ride on a mule to be anointed by the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan. Other biblical references to the rulers of Israel riding donkeys can be found in Judges 5:10; 10:4; 12:11, and 2 Samuel 16:2. The king riding on a donkey would signify that he was on a peaceful mission for riding a horse would mean a military pursuit.  Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is significant for it gives a hint of his true royal status and it also shows us his humility, the servant king, the soon to be suffering servant – whose mission was not that of a military conquest as the Jews expected the Messiah to be.  In our lack of understanding, we would say that someone who is lowly and maybe even unworthy comes riding on a donkey. Jesus lowers himself to our state so that God’s grace could redeem us even in our most unworthy moments.


Jesus, King of all kings has come on a lowly donkey, as a sign of peace and not on chariot of horses. He came by love, grace, mercy and the sacrifice of His life for us. He did not come as a force of a conqueror of an earthly king. His kingdom is not of wealth and splendour, but lowliness and servanthood. He conquers not nations but heart and mind. His deliverance is one of peace with God and not temporal peace. If Jesus has made a triumphal entry to our heart, He reigns there in peace and love. As His followers, we manifest the same quality and the world will see the true King living and reigning in triumphant in us.


The entry is in fulfilment of the Old Testament in Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion. Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Nonetheless, the people hailed Jesus as a conqueror and warrior king; the spreading of cloak was an act of homage for royalty (2 Kings 9:13).


Have we been like the crowd? Have we come acknowledging Jesus as our Messiah, as our King because we are caught up in the excitement, because we have heard or witnessed the miracles He has performed and wanting the same in our life?  Are we seeking Him as our temporal deliverer? When He does not meet our expectations, do we turn against Him? Reject Him? Mock Him? Who is Jesus to us? Has Jesus made triumphal entry in your heart? Who or what reigns in your heart?

Monica & Marilyn