“And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’ His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.” (John 12:14-16)
As Jesus entered Jerusalem the crowds welcomed Him with great zeal, waving branches of palm. This was a victory parade. Jesus was coming to die to conquer sin, death and Satan, but the people and even the disciples had other thoughts and desires. They wanted to make Jesus their King. They wanted Him to overthrow the Roman Empire and reestablish the Kingdom of David, the new Israel. That is why everyone proclaimed Him and shouted praises.
Yet even though the crowds greeted Jesus as their king, their zeal and enthusiasm did not last. He was only their “King for a Day.” Later that same week Jesus was arrested, beaten, tried, and crucified. Many of the same people who had cheered him on Sunday turned against him just a few days later and called for His crucifixion.
Jesus wants to be the ruler and Lord of our life. He doesn’t want to be our “King for a Day;” He wants to be our eternal King. And that means we have to serve Him and do things His way, not ours. So we can shout and sing all we want but if we do not want to serve and obey Him, if we do not want to surrender our lives to Him, then all the rest, rituals, celebrations, music, pomp, and majesty is meaningless. He, not us, is the center and focus of all the glory, honor and rejoicing. And yet His glory raises us up.