In scriptures read on Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a colt that has never been ridden. Why? Jesus is a very different kind of king.
When Solomon was crowned king, he rode to his anointing on his father David’s mule (1 Kings 1:38-39). This symbolized Solomon’s succession to his father’s throne. Frequently when new kings took over, they did so by retrofitting or reclaiming the symbols, possessions, wives, and residences of their predecessors.
People are greeting Jesus as a king in the line of David. But is he? Is it possible to be in the family of David but to be a king in an entirely different way?
Jesus rides on a colt that has never had a rider. He is coming into a kingship that has no predecessor. As we sing in the Advent hymn, “Prepare the Royal Highway”:
His is no earthly kingdom;
he comes from heaven above.
His rule is peace and freedom
and justice, truth, and love
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship #264)
This message is excerpted from “The meaning of ‘Hosanna!’” by Julia Seymour in the March/April 2022 Gather magazine.
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