Summary: Jesus arrived on what we know as Palm Sunday and was welcomed in many ways. How do we welcome Him?
*In the context of this story, Jesus is manifesting Himself in a brand new way to these people. He is openly declaring Himself to be the Messiah. His hour has come and He is showing Himself strong and a fulfillment of recognizable prophecy to those in attendance for the Passover.
*There are times when Jesus chooses to arrive and manifest Himself in a new way. How do we respond to that manifestation?
1. Welcome Jesus with Submissive Hearts (spreading of the cloaks)
a. Matthew calls it a large crowd (It has been estimated that during the Passover there would be as many as 3 million people present).
b. The people had been ready to honor and acknowledge Jesus as King and they now saw this opportunity to display that desire.
c. The image of the multitude spreading their cloaks is on the heels of Bartimaeus throwing aside his own cloak to run to Jesus and receive healing. It is a picture of respect and submission.
2. Welcome Jesus with honor and worship (waving of the branches)
a. This was spontaneous! During that time, if there were a Roman conquest of some time, the arrival of the leader would be with great pomp and circumstance. It would be a showy display of rolling out the welcome mat so to speak. The rich and important would make a big show. It is reported that one entry was marked by a 3 mile stretch of strewn roses.
b. Jesus was greeted by genuine, spontaneous honor and worship by the common man. The dignitaries, the religious, the important people of the day were not a part of this. They were busy complaining.
3. Welcome Jesus with exuberance and praise (shouting Hosanna!)
a. We are told that the people began to praise God in loud voices. They expressed their exuberance and emotion without hesitation or concern for how it may look or sound.
b. “By calling Jesus the Son of David, they owned and proclaimed him to be the Messiah; this being the usual title by which the Messiah was known among the Jews; and by crying and saying Hosanna to him, which was done with loud acclamations, and the united shouts of both companies, before and behind; they ascribe all praise, honour, glory, and blessing to him, and wish him all prosperity, happiness, and safety.” (Gill)
c. The cry is not only that Jesus will be exalted here on earth, but that His glory and honor would extend throughout all of Heaven as well.
d. Their cry is that for salvation. Their cry is that for which they anticipate or believe Jesus has come.
e. The same crowd that shouted “Hosanna!” later shouted “Crucify!” We must be careful that our praise is based on Who Jesus truly is and not our expectation of Who we think He is.
4. Welcome Jesus with skepticism, ridicule and disdain (Pharisees) (Luke 19:39)
a. This is the epitome of rejection under the cover of religion.
b. People have always wanted a Jesus that they can understand or put in a box. When He doesn’t fit and when the excitement of others is too much, the religious will always speak out in opposition.