Palm Sunday is the day the Church traditionally remembers Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. This is how we begin Holy Week. Most of us call it the Triumphal Entry. Most of our Bibles use that heading to mark off the Gospel passages that describe our Lord’s riding into the city.
But we remember that Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem on a war horse, but on a lowly beast of burden – a mule. Jesus did not enter in power or violence, but in humility and peace. He did not come to assert his rights and force his will, he came to lay down his life and die.
Hosanna means “save us!” It’s a cry for deliverance, a request for rescue – please, save us! But it’s also a confident proclamation that God will save and, therefore, a declaration of praise.
Yes, Jesus came to save. Of course, Jesus came to win. He came to defeat forever the forces of sin and death and Satan and anything else that might separate us from God and one another. But he came in submission. In service and sacrifice. To suffer and die.