Hindsight blinds us to what was really going on in that procession into Jerusalem. We are accustomed to read the narrative through a particular set of goggles that focus in on those elements of the story that allow a knowing juxtaposition with events soon to come.
The crowds of people greeting Jesus as Messiah – waving their palm leaves and lining the road with clothes – could not see into the future. They longed for a Messiah to come and solve their very immediate problems. They needed him to be a King of action; a King who would burst onto public life and overturn the politics. A Vengeful all-powerful King who would smite the oppressor and raise up a new Holy Empire. There were a few clues that they were always likely to be disappointed; he was riding a donkey for a start, and then there were all his scruffy no-hope followers and his past association with all sorts of outcasts and undesirables. This King was never going to deliver what people thought they wanted.
The thing is, even with all this hindsight, we often still make exactly the same mistake. We think that the answer to our serial problems lie in the achievement of fresh conquest and we even come to believe that these are God-ordained, despite all the evidence to the contrary- the donkey, the Lepers and all.
We forget that in this upside-down New Kingdom, power only matters when it is laid down in the form of love.