Today we read Mark’s account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem an event which is commemorated every year on Palm Sunday. The event marks a turning point in how Jesus interacts with the crowds of people. Up until now, Jesus has been fastidious of keeping the people’s expectations at arm’s length. Previously, when crowds gathered around He would often slip away. He has told people that he cured to keep quiet about the miracles he worked so that he could move on before the crowds could find out. Now he allows the crowd to process him into the Holy City. They cover the ground with cloaks and branches reminiscent of Solomon’s procession and coronation as king of Israel. Like a king he enters riding on a horse, but it’s not a “war horse”, rather it is a colt, signaling that he comes in peace.
One verse of Mark’s account is often overlooked. It is the final verse:
11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
It seems that Jesus is taking it in one last time. Experiencing the majesty of the Temple is a human way once more before the events that will lead to his crucifixion begin.