Father Aidan Peter has left us with this reflection:
A NEW KIND OF KING
“I give my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)
Why does Jesus enter Jerusalem? Or better: how does he enter? The crowds acclaim him as king. And he does not deny it or tell them to be silent. But what kind of king is he? He rides on a donkey, not accompanied by a court, not surrounded by an army as a symbol of power. He is received by humble people, simple folk who have the sense to see something more in Jesus. They have that sense of the faith which says: here is the savior. Jesus does not enter the holy city to receive the honors reserved to earthly kings, to the powerful, to rulers. He enters to be scourged, insulted and abused, as Isaiah foretold. He enters to receive a crown of thorns, a staff, a purple robe: his kingship becomes an object of derision. He enters to climb Calvary, carrying his burden of wood. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to die on the cross. And it is precisely here that his kingship shines forth in godly fashion: his royal throne is the wood of the cross!