Here He Comes!

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:8-11)

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:25-26)
In our verses for today we see Jesus in a triumphant and festal procession to Jerusalem. Normally, the Master retreated from any such limelight–no earthly pomp and splendor for Him. Indeed, at the height of his popularity John tells us when the people saw His works and wanted to make Him King, He withdrew.

After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. (John 6:14-15)

The kingdom would be given to Him by His Father only in His perfect timing and not by the world and what they deemed to be the hour of opportunity.

The people in Jesus’ day knew He claimed to be the Messiah and those in our verses for today believed that He was the coming Savior. When we believe something we act upon it. Our actions will demonstrate what we believe to be true. The words the people shouted were from the Messianic Psalm 118 which spoke of the Coming One. They ascribed these Messianic titles to Jesus.

“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.”
-Corrie Ten Boom

O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:25-27)

As our Lord made His way to Jerusalem riding on a colt of a donkey–a symbol of peace, not war–the people spread their cloaks on the road so that He could ride on them. They waved palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” Palm branches were symbols of victory, liberty, and joy. The word “Hosanna” is from the Hebrew word “save.” It was originally a prayer addressed to God meaning “O save us now,” and later came to be used as a shout of praise as “Hallelujah”. Notice that Jesus did not stop or retreat from this celebration:

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in His bosom. Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to God … Maintain a holy simplicity of mind, and do not smother yourself with a host of cares, wishes, or longings, under any pretext.”
-St. Francis de Sales

Upon the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem there appeared to be great commotion over the sight and stirrings. Everyone seemed to take notice of Him! Some watched with wonder, some laughed over His humbleness, some perhaps expressed joy, and there were even some (probably the Pharisees) who were filled with envy and indignation. There were and still are many responses of the human heart towards Jesus and His coming kingdom.

Take It to Heart

“If thou makest a profession of being a child of God, if thou art a believer, and thinkest and believest religion is the best, the service of God most desirable, I do not come to plead with thee because of any advantage thou wouldst get by being holy; it is on this ground that I put it, that the Lord is God; and if he be God, it is thy business to serve him. If his gospel be true, and thou believest it to be true, it is thy duty to carry it out.”  (Charles H. Spurgeon)

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