March 29, 2022

Our Lord Jesus Christ came into Jerusalem amid “Hosanna,” on March 31 in order for each of the prophets in his time had prophesied concerning Him shall be fulfilled. Saint Jacob said concerning Judah his son, who is likened to our Lord Jesus Christ, “He shall bind His foal to the olive tree and his ass’s colt to the branches of the vine.” (Genesis 49:2) Saint Zechariah also said, “Fear you not, O daughter of Zion, behold thy king come riding upon the foal of an ass.” (Zachariah 9:9) Isaiah said, “You king shall come, the righteous one, whose reward is with him (Isaiah 62:2), and whose work is before his face; he come riding upon the foal of an ass.” Abraham himself called this festival the “festival of the God [of] joy” when he went round the altar bearing young branches of the palm. Prophet David said, “Out of the mouths of babes and suckling you have prepared praise.” (Psalm 8:2) Solomon said, “The tongues of children (or babes) ordain righteousness.” He also said, “And old men and children shall play in the streets of Jerusalem, and they all shall have their staves in their hands.” One shall say, (Zechariah 8: 4-5) “Make broad thy nails and drape thy tabernacles.”

Now as to the conclusion of the matter, our Lord Jesus came to Jerusalem riding upon an ass, even as it is written in the Gospel. He drew nigh to Jerusalem, opposite to Bethpage and Bethany, by the mountain which is called ‘Elyon. He sent two of His disciples and said unto them, “Go ye into the city in front of you, and when ye come in ye shall find an ass tied whereon never man hath ridden; loose him and bring him hither. If any shall say unto you, ‘Why are you losing him?’ say you, ‘His Lord has need of him.’ When those who were sent had gone there they found it [to be] even as He said to them; and they loosed the ass. Whilst they were losing the ass the owner thereof said to them, “Why are you losing him?” They said to him, “His Lord has need of him. (Matthew 21:2-3) They took the ass, and brought him to our Lord Jesus, and they spread their garments upon him, and they mounted our Lord upon him.

There were many who strewed branches of trees which they had cut off the trees and many who strewed their apparel on the road on which He went. Those who followed Him cried out, saying, “Hosanna in the heights! Blessed is He who come in the Name of the Lord, and blessed is the kingdom which come in the Name of the Lord which our father David [prophesied]. Hosanna in the highest.” Our Lord Jesus went into the sanctuary, and everyone saw Him. When the evening was come He went into Bethany with His twelve disciples.

On the following day He went forth from Bethany. He was a hungered and he saw a fig tree afar off and there were leaves upon it and He went to see if He could find any fruit on it. Having come to the tree He found on it nothing but leaves, for it was not the time of the year for figs, and He answered and said to the fig tree, “Never shall any man eat fruit from thee”; and His disciples heard Him. He came to Jerusalem and went into the sanctuary. Then, He began to drive out those who bought and those who sold in the temple, and He overthrew the tables of the money- changers, and the seats (or, stands) of those who sold doves, and He stopped everyone from taking out goods connected with the temple. He taught them and said to them, “Is it not written that He said, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations, and you have made it a den of thieves’?” (Matthew 21:13)

Saint John said, “After He rose up Lazarus, on the following day, when the many people who had come to the feast, heard that our Lord Jesus Christ had come to Jerusalem, they took branches of trees and palm branches from Jerusalem and welcomed Him. And having gone forth they cried out and said, ‘Hosanna in the heights! Blessed is He that come in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel.’ Our Lord Jesus found the ass, and He mounted him, even as it is written, ‘Fear not, O daughter of Zion, behold thy King come riding upon the foal of an ass.’ His disciples did not know when our Lord Jesus Christ was praised that all this had been [ordained] of old, but they remembered [afterwards] that these words were written thus concerning Him, and that because of this the people had done as they did. Those people who were there with Him were witnesses that He had summoned Lazarus form the grave, and had raised him up from the dead. Therefore those people having heard that He had worked miracles, and especially the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, welcomed Him.

The Pharisees said among them, ‘Do you now see that nothing whatsoever will avail? Behold, the entire world follow Him.’” Matthew and Mark do not (sic) mention the matter of the palm branches, but they say, “And others cut down branches from the trees and strewed them in the way.” Luke mention neither the branches of trees nor the palm branches, but he said, “And as they went along they strewed their garments on the road.” It is John only who said, “They took branches of palms from Jerusalem”; now there were no palm trees in Jerusalem. When our Lord was a child He went down into the land of Egypt with His mother, our Lady Saint Mary; and they found there palms. Our Lord commanded that some of their roots should be pulled up and planted on the Mount of Olives, and forthwith the roots of the palms flew through the air, and planted themselves there. From these palms the people took branches and welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ amid Hosannas, and thereupon envy seized the Jewish people and because of it they sought to kill our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hosanna in the heights!

Source: The Ethiopian Synxarium pages 414-415