The King of Love


“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (NRSV, Luke 19:38)

Today we begin the most solemn week of the whole year when once again we accompany Our Lord along the road which led to his Cross.  Today in spirit we enter with him into the city which crucified him, and from now on, until the utter desolation on Good Friday, the shadow of that fearful Cross falls across the intervening days.  And yet even at the beginning there is a gleam of hope which presages the joy of Easter Day, for today Christ is acclaimed as King.

But there is a difference.  On Palm Sunday he is surrounded with the pageantry of earthly royalty: on the Feast of the Resurrection he is clothed in the first splendour of his Heavenly Kingship.

Today, in deliberate fulfilment of an ancient prophecy, he enters Jerusalem as King, seated on a humble, peaceful donkey.  “Tell the daughter of Zion”, said the prophet Zechariah, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey…” (NRSV, Matthew 21:5).  And in his way the cheering crowds spread their clothes before him on the road, and cut down branches from the trees for a carpet under him.

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