Bringing the Text to Life

Kings, Colts, Crowds, Cloaks and Kenosis Philippians 2:5-11

Kings, Colts, Crowds, Cloaks and Kenosis

The triumphal entry of Jesus is a predictable story, until an untranslatable word turns the tale upside down.

At a Glance

Some foreign words are hard to translate.  For example, frisson, treppenwitz, nirvana, tao. And kenosis. But, if we study them a little, the words are rich in meaning.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's OT text, see "The Greatest Teacher Ever," April 17, 2011, at

Palm Sunday.

Clearly, this is one of the most joyful days of the Christian year. It's a day that involves a king and a colt, plus crowds and cloaks.

Jesus arrives in Jerusalem as a king. He's riding on a colt. And crowds are laying their cloaks on the ground before him as he rides. They cry, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Matthew 21:9). The people are tired of corrupt King Herod. They want Jesus to be their ruler.

We know this story well, and it's easy for us to grasp the meaning of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt while crowds praise him and roll out the red carpet by spreading their cloaks on the road.

The crowds go wild,...

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