All of this happened, of course, but not according to expectation.
His entry? Triumphant.
His conquest, certain.
His zeal, for his Father's glory and his people's salvation.
The blood spilled, his own.
He came not to bring peace but a sword. I could be wrong, but those sure looked like palm branches swinging. Nevertheless they were shouting "Hosanna!" sure enough.
He was no less victorious when he was betrayed, arrested, tortured, killed. This was the great reversal -- his triumph, not theirs -- and he never lost his sovereignty, even when he lost his breath.
I find it difficult to make sense of this, but I see the glory in the lowliness of it quite clearly.
He could have had twelve legions of angels mark his entry, so surely a white steed was within his call. But he rode a donkey. And was no less victorious.
This is good news, because I am a jackass.
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
-- 1 Corinthians 1:27-31