Summary: Christ rode into Jerusalem as the crowds gathered and cheered. But the sweet sounds of cheers turned sour and faded over the next few days as they gave way to shouts of “Crucify Him!” To understand this we must first understand why the crowds followed Chr
When the Cheers Turned Sour
In fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zech. 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”), Christ rode into Jerusalem as the crowds gathered and cheered. But the sweet sounds of cheers turned sour and faded over the next few days as they gave way to shouts of “Crucify Him!” To understand this we must first understand why the crowds followed Christ.
I. Why the Crowds and the Cheering?
A. Christ’s fame had spread throughout all of Judah.
B. The miracles He performed were not going unnoticed.
C. It seemed as though when Christ told those healed not to talk about the miracles He performed, the louder and faster they spread the story of His power.
D. Mark 7:36-37 “And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”
E. Many followed Him, therefore, out of curiosity having heard of these unbelievable events hoping to see Jesus perform some great feat or do something for them.
F. Mark 3:8b-10 “a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.”
G. Others followed Him for what they hoped would be personal gain. They wanted Christ to feed them, that is to meet their physical appetites
H. We are given an insight to this as we read of the behavior of those that had been fed by the five barley loaves and the two fish. The Scriptures tell us that Christ perceiving that they would seek make Him king by force withdraws from them. (John 6:15) But the crowds still sought Him out.
I. John 6:22-25 “On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”
J. Others followed Christ because they believed that He would be the one to free them from the Roman occupation and would bring peace and prosperity to Israel.
K. Crowds haven’t changed much in 2000 years. They still want their stomachs full; their physical needs met, and peace and prosperity. The sad part is that they are willing to follow anyone as Henri Spaak, former Secretary General of NATO, said “Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.”
II. Why did the sweetness of the Cheering turn sour?
A. They became disappointed that Christ’s kingdom was not an earthly kingdom and it did not appear that He would overthrow the Roman government.
1. “With their words and with their actions, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was (for this part of the crowd) a political rally. The palm tree had been the symbol of the nation of Israel, just like the bald eagle is the symbol of America. The palm branches were their flags! These people were expecting Jesus to be their King, to be their national liberator against the Romans! That’s what they expected from Jesus. Liberation. Political liberty. Freedom from the chains of this world!” – copied
2. John 12:12-13 “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
3. It suddenly became very apparent to those who were looking for a political leader who would conquer by force; Christ was not what they were looking for; He was not their conquering hero..