The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:9-11 NIV
Jerusalem today is a bustling commercial city. The old and the new merge together in a chaotic symphony of sights, smells and sounds. The streets are crowded, filled with vendors hawking their wares, tourists searching for the perfect souvenirs and local residents purchasing their daily bread.
The seamless four quarters of the old city are a tourist’s navigational nightmare. Without a guide, the maze can swallow you up quickly. The streets are so narrow and the stone walls so high that the blue sky is barely a streak above you. But you must also watch your step. If you try to get your bearings by looking up, you might trip on the very uneven two-thousand-year-old stone walkways.
From the scriptures, we glean that the busy Jerusalem of today isn’t much different than it was 2000 years ago. Then too, it was a bustling commercial city full of cultural and political conflict. Rome held political power, but the religious leaders of the day held the economic and social sway. The religious leaders curtseyed to their Roman masters but manipulated the citizens with such a controlling hand that it was impossible to find true freedom anywhere.
Imagine then a self-confident quiet man entering this scene, challenging the status quo—not by rebellion or force, but rather through story-telling that encouraged introspection in all. In the mind of the masses, he was so obviously a leader, that he must be the Messiah. They were convinced that he would be the one to lead an army of rebellion against the powers that controlled them.
They expected a Messiah riding on a white horse brandishing a sharp sword to lead the cavalry to free them from their political woes.
That day, He didn’t ride in on a white horse. Instead, He rode through those narrow, crowded streets on a donkey—a sign of humility and commonness.
Jesus wasn’t interested in changing the status quo through rebellion or military force. He cared about every soul and he desired freedom for all. He taught that by loving God more than anything else, that same love will permeate our spirit and soul giving us the strength and desire to banish injustice and evil from this world.
A personal relationship with God will forever change the way we look at the world and ourselves. Jesus came to bring inner peace. He is that peace.
And that was His sword.