Monday, August 14, 2017

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (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. 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!” (John 12:12–13).

The first thing the crowd shouted was “Hosanna!” As they shouted this word, they waved palm branches and laid them in His path. The word hosanna was shouted as we cry “Hurray!” today. Beyond this, however, hosanna was a word that referred to a palm branch. Palm branches were symbolically associated with peace, particularly with peace that results from a crucial victory. When they waved palms and shouted “Hosanna” at Jesus, they were celebrating an anticipated victory over the Romans that they expected their Messiah to achieve.

Jesus did indeed come to defeat someone, but it was not Rome. Rather, the warfare to which Jesus committed Himself was a cosmic warfare against all the powers of sin and evil. The liberation He came to bring was not simply freedom from Rome, but freedom from sin and Satan.

Secondly, they shouted “Blessed is the King of Israel, who comes in the name of the Lord!” They were not just celebrating a king; they were indicating that this King was coming in the name of God. In saying this, they were using the vocabulary that was reserved for the Messiah, the One who would restore the kingdom to Israel.

Certainly Jesus was the King who had come to bring the kingdom of God, but the people did not understand. They were filled with political expectations, and this explains why these same people later shouted “Crucify Him!” Instead of leading them to victory against Rome, He had meekly submitted to Roman arrest and trial. He had not lived up to their expectations and they were bitterly disappointed.

It is easy to think that our greatest problems today are political problems. But the Bible teaches that man’s problem is sin, and the solution is redemption and sanctification. Christians should be active in society and in politics, but we must always keep first things first. How about you? Would you have been disappointed in Jesus?