The Triumphal Entry
by Rosemarie Adcock
This painting depicts what is known as the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the event we still celebrate every Palm Sunday. In Matthew 21, Jesus instructed His disciples to get the foal of a donkey, and after they laid their coats on it, Jesus sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds were shouting:
This moment when Jesus was recognized as King was a short-lived recognition in the eyes of the crowds, because He would be killed by the end of the same week. Jesus Himself knew this. Later in Matthew’s Gospel, He passionately lamented,
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:37-39
The hens and chicks in the foreground of this painting are a depiction of Jesus’ words of lament for His people. Symbols of the Trinity are embroidered into His garments, the garments themselves are purple, a sign of royalty. A woman in the background is touching Jesus, our reachable, touchable, King; a gesture that would have been totally unacceptable in that culture. In fact it was unacceptable for a man to speak to a woman publicly, yet Jesus did so to the Samaritan woman at the well when He declared Himself to be the Messiah for whom the world was waiting, the One who could forgive even the most humiliated of outcasts, making the way for inclusion into God’s family.