John's Gospel -a new look: no.20 The Messiah arrives.
Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
Blessed is the person who comes in the name of the Lord. Jn.12:17
When an important general returned from battle in victory he would lead his troops and the captives into the city riding on a white horse. Paul has the picture in mind in 2 Corinthians 2:12-16. A Roman Triumph was only given on very special occasions and followed a specific format.
The Nation of Israel were waiting for the Messiah to arrive and when he did they believed that he would set up his Kingdom in Jerusalem. Jesus at this stage had performed most of his signs outside the city but now it was time to make his triumphant entry. In the words of the prophet the king would arrive riding on a donkey’s colt. This was not what Israel wanted or expected. Somewhere along the line the image of the Messiah had got distorted.
The disciples at first did not understand what Jesus was doing but John tells us (Jn.12:16) that when Jesus was glorified they remembered these things that had been written about him.
As the writer of the fourth Gospel records this scene we need to stand next to the road and cry our with the crowds the great words: “ Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Jesus did not fulfill the incorrect expectations of the Jewish Nation but he does fulfill and exceed the expectations of the believer in every age.