“This is my body, which is given up for you… This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:19-20). These are the words that Jesus speaks to us in Holy Week, and also the words of consecration during Mass. In his passion, Jesus identifies himself with the suffering servant of God as prophesied by Isaiah. The Cross was originally an instrument of humiliation, torture and failure, the punishment for slaves and rebels. However, in light of Crucifixion of Jesus, it is turned into a sign of Love, Forgiveness and Salvation. Saint Paul tells us: “Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). In obedience to the Father’s will and accepting the Cross, Jesus teaches us the meaning and the salvific value of suffering. He shows us that the way of the Cross leads to the glorious resurrection. It starts with the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, which we commemorate on Palm Sunday.
The entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem has several significances. Firstly, it fulfils the prophecies in the Old Testament. As we know, the Old Testament stories and prophecies prefigure the events and fulfilment of the prophecies in the New Testament. All of its history points towards the Climax which is the Christ.
Secondly, we come to know that Jesus is the Redeemer. Christ becomes our redemption by his expiatory death on the Cross; and we are set freed from the slavery of sin by the price of his blood (Colossians 1:15-20).
Finally, it enables us to acknowledge that Jesus is the King of Peace. On the way to Jerusalem, many people praise him, preceding with shout of joy: “Hosanna! … Hosanna in the highest!” They want him to be their king to deliver them from the power of the Roman Empire. However, Jesus shows that the most important thing is that He is king, but his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus is the Redeemer and King – the King of Peace.
Today, on Palm Sunday, Jesus invites us to profess that He is our King. Let’s open our hearts to welcome him, and together we praise him with shout of joy: “Hosanna! … Hosanna in the highest!”