Summary: Was there really just one crowd shouting "Hosanna" one day and "Crucify" a short time later? Were Jesus' followers really that fickle or were they just running for cover when the tide in Jerusalem changed? And how do we see ourselves in that scenario?
Matthew 21:1-11 (please open your Bibles as we read this passage)
- The disciples (the 12)
- The followers
o “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
o “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
o “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
o “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
o “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
o “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
o “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
- The curious
- The believing Jewish leaders
o “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him.” – John 11:45
- The unbelieving Jewish leaders
o There is a “Wanted” poster out for Jesus!
- Jews who were loyal to Herod
o mixing politics and religion for power and survival
o those who would say, “We have no law to put a man to death”
o those who would say, “We have no king but Caesar!”
- Those who were loyal to the Jewish leadership
o Had followed them for years
- Those who wanted to see an execution!
The “Hosanna-ites vs. the Crucify-ites!”
- Always assumed they were the same crowd
- During Triumphal entry Hosanna-ites LOUD / Crucify-ites murmuring …
- In front of Pilate Crucify-ties LOUD / Hosanna-ites in hiding
Illustration of this from the last Superbowl.
- Patriots getting crushed
o Falcon fans LOUD – Patriot fans stunned
o Falcon fans – taunting … “Patriots forgot to come today!”
- Patriots make unbelievable comeback
o Patriot fans LOUD – Falcon fans stunned
o Patriot fans – taunting … “Poor little Falcons got tired, can’t play anymore”
Did the Hosanna-ites change and become Crucify-ites? Probably not.
Both crowds were there all the time; just depended on who was “winning”.
Both crowds were interested more in politics than in pleasing the LORD.
- Jesus supporters wanted to make Him King of Israel to deliver them from the bondage of Rome
- Jewish supporters wanted to keep their temple which meant keeping peace with Herod and Rome
- Jesus wanted to save the souls of both
“As [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it ….”
“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
The LORD God has emotions! We were made in the image of God and we have the same emotions He has. Ours are often twisted and imperfect but His are not.
Just go ahead and read through the Old Testament and you will see over and over and over the LORD God Himself wearing His heart on His sleeve as He rejoices in the rare obedience of His people, as He laments at their unfaithfulness, as His anger is aroused against those who would harm His chosen people, as He displays His endless love for those who truly love and trust Him.
Jesus weeps once again as He sees that His chosen people are once again going to reject Him just as they have done over and over and over and over throughout the centuries, but once again they have closed their eyes and plugged their ears and turned away from their very own Messiah!
Today as we remember this event in the life of Jesus there are some questions we need to ask ourselves.
- Are you part of the crowd who:
o Thinks Jesus is just a prophet from Nazareth in Galilee?
o Is counting on Jesus for political purposes?
o Thinks Jesus will bring you health and wealth?
o Is just curious about this Jesus thing you’ve been hearing about?
o Really doesn’t care either way about Him?
o Has committed your life and all of your earthly possessions into the hand of Jesus for His honor and His glory and for the furtherance of His kingdom here on earth?
And today as we remember this event in the life of Jesus we need to ask ourselves, what emotion does Jesus feel as He looks upon us?
- Is His heart saddened as He looks at you? Has He called you over and over and over and over and yet you pretend you don’t hear Him; that living your life for yourself is more important than living for Him?