The Crowds In Jerusalem
The Crowds in Jerusalem
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”
Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.
John 12:12 – John 12:15
Then, the voices rise in volume once again, this time of unstoppable praise: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!”
Oh, to have been among the crowds that first Palm Sunday! To have heard the stories of miracles, seen the multitudes cutting palms from trees, felt the expectation of deliverance, and been able to join the cries of “Hosanna!”
Would we have known what was happening? Would we have recognized the One riding on the colt? Could the crowds gathered in Jerusalem that day have imagined what events were coming? As they gathered for the Passover feast, could they have known that the very fulfillment of the Passover, the Lamb of God, was riding past them on His way to be slain?
The Gospel of John says that even the “disciples did not understand these things at first” (12:16). If the disciples did not understand, surely the crowds did not either. The crowds thought they were simply praising a King bringing earthly deliverance to one nation. Instead, they witnessed the arrival of One bringing eternal deliverance to people from all nations.
Though the crowds did not understand in full, they were not passive witnesses in the salvation story unfolding before them. They, in fact, played the major role of “bearing witness” to Jesus. Many came because they saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead or heard about that miracle: “Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness” (John 12:17). As they declared what Jesus had done, they bore witness to who He was and to the greater Resurrection to come.
Even those who did not know of this miracle bore witness to Jesus. As they shouted praise to the King, they proclaimed what all Creation knew: Jesus said, “…if they keep silent, even the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40).
And to us today, Jesus still says, “Be My witnesses. I came that you may have Life. Come, believe in Me, and join the ‘cloud of witnesses’ praising My Name for all eternity.”
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