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Jesus Enters Jerusalem

Matthew 21:1-11 (NLT)

1 As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”

This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

“Tell the people of Jerusalem,
    ‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
    riding on a donkey’s colt.’”

The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, 

“Praise God for the Son of David!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Praise God in highest heaven!”

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

This event is also mentioned here:

Mark 11:1-11

Luke 19:35-44

John 12:12-19

A Step Further: What They Didn’t Know As They Waved Their Palms

They spread their garments on the road before Jesus. It was a welcome given to kings and conquerers. They thought he was going to overthrow the government and release them from Roman rule. They didn’t know he was the King of Kings and the one who would conquer death forever.

They grabbed palm branches, laid them on the ground, and waved them as Jesus passed by. A sign of victory; another symbol given to kings or conquerors. They didn’t know it was foreshadowing a moment in the new Jerusalem where we’ll all gather, palms in hand, and shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Their cry of ‘hosanna’ was a way of saying, “Save us, please! Our Savior has come! Salvation is here!” They didn’t know he wasn’t the savior they wanted but the Savior they needed.

They didn’t know in just five days their shouts of adoration and praise would be traded in for insults and shouts of “Crucify him!”

They didn’t know their cries of “Salvation is here” would turn into taunts, “Save yourself, if you’re really the King of the Jews!”

They didn’t know the king and conqueror’s welcome they were giving Jesus would turn into a parade to watch his crucifixion.

They didn’t know as they spread their garments on the ground before him that a few short days later they would be rolling dice to win his garments as he hung on the cross.

They didn’t know the Word had become human and made his home among them.

But Jesus knew what they didn’t know, and he still loved them. Even on the cross, he cried out in love and compassion, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

He chose the Cross for them. He chose it for us today. Today, we will shout “Hosanna! Our Savior is here!” and in a short time later, it’s inevitable doubt, fear, anxiety, and anger will get ahold of us, and we’ll cry out, “Where are you??” as if he isn’t there. Our Savior, he is here. He is filled with compassion and love for us. He is worthy of glory and honor. Our King. Our Conqueror. Immanuel, God with us.

Salvation through Jesus Christ has come.

A Step Further written by Erin Branham. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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