Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19; The Desire of Ages, pp. 569–575
I worship God when I praise Him.
“ ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” (John 12:13).
Has a friend ever done something unusual? Something they have never done before? In today’s Bible story, Jesus is getting ready to enter Jerusalem. He knows He will soon face death. And He does something unusual, something He had never done before. It happened like this:
Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. He spoke to two of His disciples: “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, one no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ”
“They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, ‘What are you doing, untying that colt?’ They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.” (See Mark 11:2-6.)
So the disciples led the donkey’s colt to Jesus. They spread their coats over it, and He sat on it. “Jesus was following the Jewish custom for a royal entry.”* The colt was like those ridden by the kings of Israel in years past. Years before, Zechariah had prophesied about that. He wrote that the Messiah would show Himself to the people of Jerusalem, and that He would be riding on a donkey’s colt. (See Zechariah 9:9.)
The people knew about that prophecy. No sooner was Jesus seated on the colt than the disciples and others started shouting! The people hailed Him as Messiah, their King.
Jesus’ disciples laid their coats before Jesus for the colt to walk on. When other people saw what was happening, they started shouting and putting their coats down too. With the disciples they shouted, “ ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (John 12:13). (Hosanna is a cry of praise to God.)
The people were thanking God for sending the Messiah to them. They were honoring Jesus as they never had before.
Many people had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Passover was a time to remember how God had led the Hebrew people out of Egypt many years before. Many of these people had never heard of Jesus.
They watched the crowd around Jesus and asked about Him. In this way they learned about Jesus. And they joined in the big praise parade too.
Others in the crowd knew Jesus. They knew about those He had healed or raised from the dead. So a great crowd followed Jesus, shouting praises to Him as He entered Jerusalem.”
But the Jewish leaders were not shouting praises. They were jealous of Jesus. They tried to quiet the people, but couldn’t. So they shouted angrily at Jesus, “Teacher, tell these people to stop!”
“I tell you,” Jesus answered, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!”
(See Luke 19:39, 40.) He was telling them that it was good and right for the people to praise Him as God. And if people didn’t, His creation would!
When the parade was over, Jesus’ disciples were excited and happy. They really thought that Jesus would be their powerful king and take over Israel. They still didn’t understand that He would soon die for them.
But for that one day, Jesus allowed people to treat Him like a king. He allowed them to worship Him. He let them shout, “ ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ” In this way, they showed their love and respect.
When we praise Jesus today, we, too, are worshiping Him as our King and Saviour. He is worthy to be praised!
*The Desire of Ages, p. 570