He entered the city alone.
Nobody realised that; everyone else saw the disciples who trailed him and the noisy crowd that enveloped him and acclaimed him, but he was alone.
He had set his face towards Jerusalem, and he was alone.
He was utterly alone, for no one else knew why he was there, or what he had come to do, and those who loved him best had the least idea.
He sat on that donkey alone. When the crowd cheered wildly, he did not laugh and smile with them; when they called him by one of his rightful names, he knew that they did not know who he truly was.
He rode alone, feeling the hatred of the scribes and Pharisees, the priests and all their ilk, burn against his skin with the fervency of their malice.
He rode alone, feeling the ignorance of the crowd. They did not know that they were the very ones he had come to die for.
He rode alone, feeling the power of Rome that beat down and oppressed the city. They trampled people with their iron-shod feet; in just a few days they would crucify him with their iron nails and call it justice.
He rode alone, feeling the bewildered, helpless love of his friends. They wanted to declare that they would follow him anywhere, but they had no understanding of where he was going, or how dark a battle and how terrible a foe he would fight on their behalf. They were not strong enough or brave enough to follow him there … not yet …
He rode alone, in humility, on a donkey. He who had called stars into being and carried the government of all things upon his shoulder. But they didn’t see that. All they saw was a man.
He rode alone, and the angels marvelled that such a thing could be.
He was alone, as one can only be alone in an uncomprehending crowd.
He was alone, his face set unflinchingly towards the horror of the cross, never doubting that this terrible road was worth the taking, moving steadily towards that unthinkable place where he would cry out his forsakenness.
He was alone so that he might be with us forever.