Encounters with Jesus, The Hosanna Crowd
Series: Encounters with Jesus
Palm Sunday is a reminder of the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and set into motion the days leading to his crucifixion. This was the Jewish pilgrimage festival of Passover. Thousands of people from all over Israel came to this festival in Jerusalem. In Matthew 21:1-11, we see this event take place.
Palm Sunday was one of the darkest days of Jesus' life. It is when he wept (wailed bitterly) over the city because the people didn't get it. They still wanted a political king to rise up and overthrow Rome. The songs that were being sung were political rally cries for Israel to rise up against Rome. Hosanna was a cry of "Lord, save us NOW!"- Psalm 118:25-26. As He rode in, people pressed him from all sides. Laying their only cloaks down was in reference to 2 Kings 9:11-13. The palm branches were the military national symbol for Israel. The Sicari (radical zealot extremists) were murdering Roman soldiers all over the streets. It was truly an intense scene.
At this same time, it was a moment when Jesus intentionally fulfilled prophecy - Zechariah 9:9! It had to be done, but it wasn't a happy celebration. It was a politically charged, intense and scary rally cry for an earthly king to help Israel rise up to political power after 500+ years of waiting. The Israelites history was a history of oppression (Egypt - Assyria - Babylon - Persia - Greece - Rome) and this was their "chance" to fight! The Pharisees (religious leaders) were very nervous about this situation because they had an agreement with Rome and were in an "advantageous standing". The Romans were on high alert due to the giant crowds and the relentless shouting of "Hosanna".
This day was also called Lamb Selection Day. It was the day that all of the families that came into Jerusalem needed to select their "unblemished" lamb for Passover. THIS was the day that Jesus rode into town as THE unblemished Lamb who will take away the sin of the world. Unfortunately, the people didn't get it, which is why Jesus was so distraught. (1 Peter 1:18-19; John 1:29; 1 Cor 5:7; Rev 12:11)
Matthew 21:10 says,"And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this"? "Stirred up" means that the city literally shook when Jesus entered. He IS the Lamb of God, who takes the sin of the world. He IS seated today at God's righthand praying for you. He IS enough to be your Savior. He IS love.
To Discuss Today:
1. Think about the scene when Jesus rode in on a donkey. How would you have responded if you were there in the street?
2. Meditate on the phrase, "WHO is Jesus?" "Who IS Jesus?" "Who is JESUS?" What did you learn about Him as you thought about emphasizing different words in that phrase?
3. Who is Jesus to you? Have you made Him into something He is not? What?
4. Have you "picked" Him as the Perfect Lamb that takes the sin of the world? Have you given your life to HIm? Why?
5. Fast and pray this Good Friday. Focus on Scripture and no screens for the day. You will be blessed!