“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, ‘You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!” John 12:12-19
It was a big day for Jesus and His disciples. They were making the short journey from Bethany to Jerusalem. People who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover heard that Jesus was coming and they rushed out of the city to meet Him. They worshiped Jesus in the street, calling Him King of Israel and quoting from one of the Messianic Psalms –
“Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.” Psalm 118:25-26
It was an exciting day in the capital city of Israel. The people who ran to welcome Jesus knew who He was. They knew God had sent Him to save them. Jesus had demonstrated His amazing power in front of them. They had seen Him change water to wine. They had seen Him heal every disease – give sight to the blind – make the lame walk again. They had seen Him feed thousands of people using just enough food to feed only a few people. They had heard His amazing teachings and witnessed His authority over evil spirits. They had seen Him raise the dead. They knew Jesus was the Messiah, the King of Israel. They knew God was going to save them.
Jesus fulfilled every prophecy concerning that amazing day. One of them was about how the Messiah would enter Jerusalem and how the people would receive Him. Jesus prepared Himself and the disciples for that historic moment –
“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.’ So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. But some of those who stood there said to them, ‘What are you doing, loosing the colt?’ And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:1-10
Jesus experienced triumphal worship and adoration from the crowds that first Palm Sunday. The people loved Him that day. He was their great hope for national blessing and prosperity, but things were going to change – quickly. Jesus was their Messiah, their King, but there was something He had to do for them first – and that was to die for their sins. The crowds sang joyfully from Psalm 118, but they missed what their King had to do first.
“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:22-24
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”