Summary: Part of a series looking at 4 people whose lives were changed as a result of their encounter with Christ. This message looks at the crowds.
His Faithful, Fickle Followers
Show “That’s My King” Video
What an amazing description of our King. But is it our description of the King?
Turn with me please to Mt. 21:1-11.
We’re looking at people in Scripture whose encounter with Jesus changed their lives.
•Today, we look at a group of people – the crowds during Jesus’ final week on earth.
•His Faithful, Fickle Followers
Today is Palm Sunday, the day the crowds celebrated the inauguration of the King.
•Unfortunately, we also know their shouts of joy quickly turned to shouts of contempt.
What caused their change? How did their encounter affect them?
•How does their encounter relate to ours? We’re going to find out after we pray.
As we look at the fickle account of the crowds, it’s easy for us to condemn them too quickly by saying they were simply going with the flow, following the crowd.
•But there’s much more to their change of heart.
Let’s look first of all at their response during the Triumphal Entry.
v. 8-11 A VERY LARGE CROWD SPREAD THEIR CLOAKS ON THE ROAD, WHILE OTHERS CUT BRANCHES FROM THE TREES AND SPREAD THEM ON THE ROAD. 9THE 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!” 10WHEN JESUS ENTERED JERUSALEM, THE WHOLE CITY WAS STIRRED AND ASKED, “WHO IS THIS?” 11THE CROWDS ANSWERED, “THIS IS JESUS, THE PROPHET FROM NAZARETH IN GALILEE.”
(John McArthur) “It was an ancient custom for citizens to throw their garments in the road for their monarch to ride over, symbolizing their respect for him and their submission to his authority. It was as if to say “We place ourselves at your feet, even to walk over if necessary”.”
Not only did they spread their garments before Him, but they waved palm branches, which were symbolic of salvation and joy.
In order to truly understand the crowd’s response, we need to look at their expectations.
I. WHAT DID THE CROWD EXPECT?
What was on their minds as they celebrated and proclaimed Jesus their “King”?
Remember that this was the annual time of the Passover.
•Up to 100K Jewish pilgrims were making their way to Jerusalem to celebrate.
It was common practice for the people to sing psalms as they approached the city in preparation for the Passover, esp. the Hallel psalms found in Ps. 113-118.
What does Ps. 118:25-26 say? O LORD, SAVE US (HEB. – HOSANNA!)… 26BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD…
The songs they had sung for years were now being fulfilled right before their eyes.
•And not just the Hallel songs. They also were familiar with other Messianic psalms.
Num. 24:17 “I SEE HIM, BUT NOT NOW; I BEHOLD HIM, BUT NOT NEAR. A STAR WILL COME OUT OF JACOB; A SCEPTER WILL RISE OUT OF ISRAEL. HE WILL CRUSH THE FOREHEADS OF MOAB, THE SKULLS OF ALL THE SONS OF SHETH.
Ps. 2:7-9 I WILL PROCLAIM THE DECREE OF THE LORD: HE SAID TO ME, “YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER. 8ASK OF ME, AND I WILL MAKE THE NATIONS YOUR INHERITANCE, THE ENDS OF THE EARTH YOUR POSSESSION. 9YOU WILL RULE THEM WITH AN IRON SCEPTER; YOU WILL DASH THEM TO PIECES LIKE POTTERY.”
Isa. 11:4,12 …HE WILL STRIKE THE EARTH WITH THE ROD OF HIS MOUTH; WITH THE BREATH OF HIS LIPS HE WILL SLAY THE WICKED… HE WILL RAISE A BANNER FOR THE NATIONS AND GATHER THE EXILES OF ISRAEL; HE WILL ASSEMBLE THE SCATTERED PEOPLE OF JUDAH FROM THE FOUR QUARTERS OF THE EARTH.
During the period of the Judges, whenever Israel cried out to the Lord, He sent a ruler who would overthrow their enemies.
David, as God’s anointed, and in God’s strength, was able to conquer all his enemies.
It was only natural for these Jews to expect a conquering, military King who would answer their prayers for deliverance from Roman oppression.
•And now it seemed their wait was finally over. It was an incredible moment.
Unfortunately, in their excitement they had forgotten other Messianic prophecies.
Ps. 22:1-24 MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? WHY ARE YOU SO FAR FROM SAVING ME, SO FAR FROM THE WORDS OF MY GROANING?... 16…THEY HAVE PIERCED MY HANDS AND MY FEET… 18THEY DIVIDE MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM AND CAST LOTS FOR MY CLOTHING.
Isa. 53:1-12 SURELY HE TOOK UP OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED OUR SORROWS, YET WE CONSIDERED HIM STRICKEN BY GOD, SMITTEN BY HIM, AND AFFLICTED. 5BUT HE WAS PIERCED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS CRUSHED FOR OUR INIQUITIES; THE PUNISHMENT THAT BROUGHT US PEACE WAS UPON HIM, AND BY HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED. 6WE ALL, LIKE SHEEP, HAVE GONE ASTRAY, EACH OF US HAS TURNED TO HIS OWN WAY; AND THE LORD HAS LAID ON HIM THE INIQUITY OF US ALL.