“He’s coming,” Dalia said as she ran into her one room shack just outside the Jaffa Gate. “Hurry, we need to join the others.”
Her mother wiped her dough-filled fingers on her apron. “What’s the rush? I’m trying to finish today’s bread. He’s just another religious man, Dalia.”
“But Mama, He’s the one.”
Her mother smoothed Dalia’s hair and held her chin in her hand. “How are you so sure, my little flower?”
“It’s what everyone is saying. Let’s go Mama.” She grabbed her mother’s hand and led her out the door.
They followed the crowd down the dusty street. It was lined with onlookers on both sides waiting for a glimpse of the coming King. They all held branches.
Dalia picked up a fallen sprig and dusted it off. She pointed to the right. “There He is Mama!”
The man sat on a donkey’s colt, as other men walked beside Him. The roar of the crowd was deafening as they shouted.
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
They threw their palm branches on the pathway as if to make a carpet road to adorn a King.
Dalia jumped up and down as the Messiah came closer. She took a step forward and threw her branch and as she did, He stopped just steps away from her. He smiled. She couldn’t take her eyes off of Him. She waved.
He nodded and kept going.
“Mama, did you see that?” Dalia said as she tugged on her mom’s apron. “He smiled at me!”
She didn’t wait for a response, but started to follow the rest of the crowd down the steep road. She wanted one more glimpse of the King.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be one of the many onlookers lining the street the day Jesus rode into the city? The excitement in the air must have been contagious. What would we have shouted? Would we have jumped up and down like Dalia? Or, would we have just ignored Him and passed by?
On our visit to Jerusalem, we stood on the top of the Mount of Olives and gazed at the beautiful city before us. Breathtaking! Then, we took the very same road – Palm Sunday Road – Jesus took. Of course, today it’s paved, but still steep! You must take your time walking down it as you can slip and fall quite easily (as some of our group found out). At the bottom of hill we walked into the Garden of Gethsemane. Young boys tried to sell us palm branches. Excitement filled my heart as we reached the gate and entered the garden. Peace and tranquility filled the air as birds sang from the olive trees.
Words can’t fully describe the feeling knowing you are where Jesus prayed and wept the night of His betrayal. And as I imagined the excitement that filled the air announcing His arrival, dread filled my heart as I pictured Judas giving him that kiss. The kiss of death.
And days later, the “Hosanna’s” turned to “Crucify Him.” Makes me wonder, would I have shouted that too? How about you?
I’m so thankful I don’t have to find out. Instead, I will shout HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST! MY KING HAS COME!
John 12:13 (KJV)
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
Walking down “Palm Sunday Road”
Garden of Gethsemane