That was Passover time at Jerusalem – couple of million people from all over the world was gathered for the most important festival in Jewish calendar.
Precisely during that festivity Lord Jesus chose to make an appearance.
This event was covered by all Gospel writers.
I. LORD JESUS ENTERS JERUSALEM ON A DONKEY’S BACK (13-15)
Jerusalem’s narrow streets were crowded heavily with buzzing people.
Here comes the procession waving palm branches in front of a man riding on a donkey.
They were chanting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
Hosanna is a Hebrew expression meaning, ‘Save’ which became an exclamation of praise.
As the crowds pass by they saw a glimpse of a person on a donkey’s back – wondered why on a donkey and why not a horse.
They did not know that Lord Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy written about HIM in Zech 9:9.
To their surprise and wonder some followers took off their coats and cloaks and spread them before the donkey as a symbol of red carpet treatment for visiting heads of State or royalty.
II. SEGMENTS IN THE CROWD
A. Innocent passersby
The innocent passers-by had never seen the Lord Jesus before or knew HIM.
They were travelers, pilgrims with their burlap bags came from other countries.
They had come early to the marketplace to shop and get some good bargains.
They knew nothing of what was to come but they were at the right place at the right time.
They just happened to be present when the procession came by.
Few instantly picked up their bags and joined and followed the possessions.
B. Inspired poor
The poor always lived in all ages and they were there even in our Lord’s time.
These poor and ignored people in the society were the most attracted to the Lord.
They loved Lord Jesus for the hope HE gave to them throughout HIS ministry.
Probably these were the poor who did not hesitate to spread their clothes for HIM.
In lowering their worn out cloaks to the ground, they also humbled themselves recognizing the Messiah and felt honored to be with HIM.
C. Incited politically
There were people who hated and despised the arrogance of the ruling Roman government. They hated their pagan practices and religious system worshiping other gods.
They carried sharp, razor-like daggers in their belts and would slit the throats of Romans if an opportunity comes their way.
But they too joined the procession expecting Lord Jesus as the king who came finally to free them from the oppressive Roman rule.
But they were troubled why the Lord was riding on a donkey instead of white horse.
These were the most disappointed in Lord Jesus because of wrong expectations.
D. The passionate few
Many were passionate people because they were the eye witnesses of the miracles Lord performed right before their eyes.
They cried, danced, shouted and sang joyful because they understood The One who rode on the donkey before them was the Healer, the miracle worker and king of Israel.
E. Intolerant Religious leaders
They were the powerful and looking for an opportunity to kill Jesus.
They were the prejudiced, intolerant religious people who always tried to question Jesus.
Lord Jesus criticized them the most and called them names – brood of wipers & white washed tombs
They just could not contain themselves for hearing the cheering of crowds in jubilation.
They were furious and plotting to kill the Lord as they believed that HE was leading the “whole world astray”.
I like the way one pastor put it, “The church is the continuing procession.”
The triumphal entry which began just outside of Jerusalem continues marching throughout history in the form of the church.
We are also part of the procession at Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
The important question is where are you identity in the procession?
Which crowd closely represents you in the Triumphal Entry?
The answer will help you to strengthen you in your faith journey.