Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:1-9 ESV)
Michael Horton notes...
"Uniquely, Christianity is a message much closer to the grammar of politics than to that of religion, though the military conquest of its King is nothing that the rulers of this age could even imagine. It is a conquest of grace, not oppression; of the will to forgiveness rather than to brute power. In the first song of the New Testament, Mary testifies to this gospel in the Magnificat: Israel’s God has acted in history, fulfilling his promise of salvation, bringing the powerful to nothing and raising up the poor and lowly. So everything turns on whether the reported events actually happened. No other religion bases its entire edifice on datable facts. The events it reports either happened or they didn’t, but the result is that the gospel creates heralds, not speculative pundits, mystics, and moralists. Jesus Christ does not create a school or a pious community for the spiritually and morally gifted. Rather, he brings a kingdom — the kingdom of God — which casts down the proud and lifts up the downcast." (Michael Horton, Pilgrim Theology)
Image above: detail of olive trees at Gethsemane, by Vincent van Gogh.