The Triumphal Entry - What Really Happened?
I’m gradually working on a book about Jesus called Whispers of Revolution: Jesus of Nazareth and the Coming of God as King, no idea when it’s gonna come out. But here is an excerpt of my first draft on the “triumphal entry.”
According to E.P. Sanders, the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem is “one of the most puzzling [passages] in the Gospels.” All four accounts, though they differ in some details, agree that Jesus entered Jerusalem: (1) On a donkey as Zechariah claimed Israel’s king one day would (Zech 9:9); (2) He was acclaimed with pomp and fanfare by a crowd who celebrated the coming of David’s kingdom from Ps 118:26; and (3) Matthew and John emphasize the royal and messianic dimensions even more acutely by having Jesus lauded as the “Son of David” (Mt 21:9) and the “king of Israel” (Jn 12:13). Given that Jesus was crucified for claiming to be “King of the Jews/Israel” (Mk 15:26; Jn 19:19), then, as Sanders observes, “the entry and the execution fit each other precisely.”