“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
Today, one week before Easter, Christians around the world commemorate the “triumphal entry,” when Jesus rode enter Jerusalem on a young donkey and the crowds praised him. We call it Palm Sunday after the palm branches they waved and placed at the donkey’s feet. Christians in many traditions will wave a small olive branch during services today, and shout “Hosanna” just like those men and women of 2000 years ago, more or less.
Psalms 120-133 are known as psalms of ascent, because they were sung by generations of Israelites on their way to Jerusalem for one of the feasts. Jerusalem is on high ground, surrounded by mountains, so every one who traveled there literally ascended or went “up” to Jerusalem. Since Jesus was going up to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast on that first “Palm Sunday,” I’m also going to include a bit of one of the psalms of ascent.
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.