Summary: As we think about this event, it makes sense to me that there are four groups of people present at the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and each of them have a different motivation for being there and sheds light on their hearts.
WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
JOHN 12:12-19 [Palm Sunday 2016]
It is election season so there is much going on in the news about the candidates and the rallies that they hold. I heard about a rally that Donald Trump held a few weekends ago where someone in the audience tried to rush the stage. The man who rushed the stage said in an interview later that he felt like Donald Trump is a bully and he wanted to get on stage and take the microphone from him. He did not make it to the stage. He was quickly blocked by experienced Secret Service agents and escorted out by Donald Trump’s security detail. The man was arrested for disorderly conduct and inducing panic. He was at the even to make a statement against the person speaking.
That got me wondering, who attends these types of events? I would have assumed that a person attending a Donald Trump rally would be someone who would vote for him or at least was interested in hearing what he had to say to make up their minds. Why would you go if you disagreed with them? Why waste your time?
That made me think about the Tampa Bay Lightning game Kelly and I went to the other week to celebrate her birthday. We have come to love hockey and were blessed to have extra money to go to a game to celebrate. Who goes to a Tampa Bay Lightning game? Obviously people who love hockey. Hopefully people who are Tampa Bay Lightning fans. There were also a lot of Boston Bruins fans there who dressed up and cheered for their team. It also makes sense that someone who doesn’t like hockey would go if they were dragged there by a fan, but the tickets are expensive and that is an expensive way to spend an evening at something you don’t like.
Why do I mention these 2 events? I mention those 2 events because this morning as we look towards Easter we read about an event where a large crowd gathers and we notice that in the crowd there are both people who want to be there and people who do not want to be there. Each of them have different motivations for being there and might have perceived the event differently.
The event that I am speaking of is what most Bible’s entitle “The Triumphal Entry” in which Jesus rides into Jerusalem a week before He is crucified. It is a large event attended by a “great crowd” (verse 12). Let’s read about this even from the Gospel of John.
READ John 12:12-19
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, 15 "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt." 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"
So what are the basics of this event?
#1 Jesus makes His way into Jerusalem riding on a donkey
#2 A great crowd gathered in advance of His arrival to welcome Him
#3 Palm branches are waved and people shout to welcome Him
As we think about this event, it makes sense to me that there are four groups of people present at the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and each of them have a different motivation for being there and sheds light on their hearts.
I. ROMAN SOLDIERS: “IDK”
This group is not mentioned in any of the Gospel accounts, but I can imagine that they were there in the background. Roman soldiers were garrisoned in Jerusalem and were often stationed at the gates of the city to do their duty as the occupying force and to keep the peace. As the crowds gathered, they would have been alerted and would have been at least keeping a watchful eye on the crowds if not walking among them to remind them how to behave. Their line in this event would have mostly been: “I don’t know” for any questions that would have come to their minds.