And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” (Matthew 21:9-10 ESV)
Reading the account of the entry to Jerusalem, the event we celebrate as “Palm Sunday,” it’s hard to grasp all that occurred on that day and the week that followed. It must have seemed surreal to the disciples as they walked along with Him, watching the culmination of the work He came to do. They saw Him riding on the donkey, cleansing the Temple, excoriating the Pharisees, giving the Kingdom parables and the end time teaching on the Mount of Olives, and finally celebrating Passover by initiating the Lord’s Table. You know the rest. By next Sunday, He will be risen. Remember, these guys were not watching vignettes on the news. They were walking in dusty streets, hearing and smelling the swirl that accompanied the most important week in all of eternity.
As this final week began, I was struck by the question on the lips of the whole city when the prophet arrived on a donkey with the fanfare of palms and Hosannas: “ Who is this?” This is a great time to stop and remember the answer to that question. This is not a fairy tale. Your answer will determine your destiny. Who is this? Peter answered once, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God.” Jesus said, “I am the Way , the Truth , and the Life.” When Paul asked Him on the Damascus road, “Who are you. Lord?” He answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” In the Revelation, He appeared to John and introduced Himself as He is on this side of Easter: “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Rev 1:17-18).”
For the week of the Passion, let’s remember. This is Jesus. He is Lord. Nothing else matters.