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From Triumph to Travesty—to Triumph!

On that first Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem as a hero,
but He would go out in a much different manner.

From triumph to travesty may well describe our Savior’s entry into the city—until He triumphed for us on the cross.

Yes, our Savior rode into Jerusalem to die the death of the cross. How many of those who gathered that day to welcome the King of Glory would soon turn on Him and demand His death?

Jesus rode into town on “a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Matthew 21:5). This is not what one would expect when God comes to town. Where was the ornately decorated chariot drawn by a team of beautiful white horses?

Our Savior’s entry into Jerusalem in lowly fashion shows
His love and compassion.

Jesus had the spiritual welfare of all people at heart. He came to rule over an eternal kingdom, not an earthly one. Most who were gathered there honored their King, but it was with hearts focused on a king for this life only. Maybe that’s one reason so many turned on Him.

From triumph to travesty!

This praising and rejoicing would not last long, for soon the Savior would be condemned to death by the very people He came to save.

Yet nothing would prevent our King from completing His work. He was focused, determined, and undaunted, though He knew what lay ahead! The spiritual welfare of all mankind was foremost in His heart. He would soon endure agony and suffering beyond all understanding. He would be forsaken and abandoned. He would be alone while He would bear the greatest burden that could be imagined. No one would come to help—no one could!

Jesus had been among His people for quite a while. He was born among them. He had lived among them. And during the previous three years He had ministered to them. He had shared with them the Greatest News, teaching them that sinners are “justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28).

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father on His sapphire throne
Awaits His own anointed Son.
TLH #162:4

Jesus had preached, taught, comforted, and helped His people in every way. But on Palm Sunday He came to His people for the last time to give the greatest of all sacrifices—Himself!

Knowing what He was riding into, Jesus rode on in majesty to suffer and die for the sins of the world. By His suffering and death He established His Kingdom—a Kingdom that is not of this world, yet a Kingdom that has conquered this world!

Jesus rode into Jerusalem to face the final battle in the “war” for our salvation. For this reason He came; for this reason He rode on; for this reason He would allow Himself to die the death of the cross.

Rejoice, for Jesus went as our Substitute—to triumph over sin, death, and hell for us. He went in love. He went to make us His very own now and eternally.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O Christ, Thy power and reign!

TLH #162:5