Entry into Jerusalem
“Hosanna in the Highest”

 

 

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All four Evangelists record the triumphal Entry of the Christ into Jerusalem, a prefigurement of His final victory over death. At the same time, His Entry into Jerusalem images our Lord’s installation in the kingdom of His Glory, the New Jerusalem shining in the Glory of the Lord

Dedicated to this occasion, a hymn of the praise resounds: “Seated in heaven upon Thy throne and on earth upon a foal, O Christ our God, Thou hast accepted the praise of the angels and the songs of the children who cried out to Three: ‘Blessed art Thou that comest to call back Adam.’”

In this icon, he focus of attention is on the portrait of Christ, seated sideways on a donkey. In contrast with emperors who rode mounted upon a war-horse, Christ rides the beast of kings who come in peace. This fulfills Zachariah’s prophesy: “Behold your king is coming to you…mounted on a donkey” (Zach.9:9). The colt “on which no one has sat” typifies the new people called from among the heathen. The two disciples who untied it represent the two orders of Christ’s subjects through whom the Gentiles will be converted: the prophets and the apostles (St.Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St.Luke, Homily 130). Christ’s right hand is extended toward the city (the Church) with a gesture of blessings. The children in the icon also play a prominent role two are high in a tree cutting palm branches (symbol of joy and celebration as well as His victory over Satan and death). Another child spreads out his cloak before Christ’s advance; this is a sign of royal welcome (2 king :13). The Gospels specify the presence of children at this joyous event and the Church views them as the embodiment of the Biblical refrence: “Out of the mouths of babes and infants hast thou perfected praise” (ps.8:3)

 

 

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