If we never read any other gospel account or story about Jesus other than this one, we would likely have the wrong idea of what Jesus’ time here on earth was truly like. In this scene, we see Jesus allow more public attention and praise than He does during all of the rest of his ministry. This scene stands in stark contrast to Jesus’ frequent responses telling people not to tell anyone about what He did for them. The fact that we are nearing the end of the book of Mark tells us one thing: (spoiler alert) Jesus is on His way to be crucified. Jesus knew that the more people that saw Him at this moment would mean the more people who would also be witnessing His crucifixion very soon. What a bittersweet scene to see our true King, riding in on a donkey, being praised by the same voices that would soon turn against Him. I’ve heard this scene referred to as a Tragic Triumph — what a tragedy that our sin cost Jesus’ own life, BUT what a triumph that His sacrifice gave undeserved grace and life to each one of us that is willing to receive it! Hosanna!
“Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!””