And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matt. 21:9)
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. This is the day we traditionally celebrate the event of Christ riding into Jerusalem, five days before Passover. What is so interesting about this event is that here we have the crowd shouting and waving palm branches and laying down their cloaks so that the donkey Jesus is riding on could walk across them. The crowd is shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And yet, in just five short days that same crowd will be yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” How can this be? How is that possible? Verse 10 says it all, “And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’” While they thought they knew who Jesus was, they really did not. What they knew about Jesus was that here was a man who had healed the sick, multiplied bread and fish, calmed a storm, and raised the dead back to life. Surely this would be the one who would overthrow the occupying Roman army and establish an independent Israel. What they did not know was that their king had come to them not to deliver them from political or military bondage, but to deliver them from the bondage of sin, Satan, and death. Jesus had come to bring them true freedom. Thus, on the one hand they knew who Jesus was—"Hosanna to the Son of David! —but on the other hand they did not know who Jesus was. In the end, they crucified Christ because, although he was the king they needed, he was not the king they wanted. Let us be careful not to do the same.
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