9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
(Zechariah 9: 9-10)
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week: the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. For many of his disciples and followers, this was to be His greatest vistory. For them, Jesus was poised to ride into the city and claim it as His own, as the Messiah, as the liberator from the Romans. The crowd shouted “Hosanna,” and spread palm branches and coats along the highway. Hosanna literally means “save now,” and that is exactly what the early Christians were looking for and expecting: a savior.
And then we move futher into Holy Week, and something altogether different occurs. Jesus, the Messiah, is arrested, convicted, tortured, and crucified. Try to imagine the horror of the early Christians as these events unfolded. They were left confused, scared, and alone. What many followers witnessed, including His own apostles, was a dramatic turnaround from first place to last place, from Messiah to criminal, from life to death.
Some of the same Jews who shouted “Hosanna” upon His entrance in Jeruslaem would be shouting “Crucify Him!” by the end of the week.
This is that week.