“As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives— the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ”Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!“ And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ”Teacher, rebuke your disciples.“ He answered, ”I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.””

Luke 19:37–40 ESV Read More

If you’ve seen this in a Jesus movie or if you’re just popping in to read about what we now call “Palm Sunday,” you might not think much about why there is a crowd of people around here doing this.

I mean, it’s Jerusalem, right? Aren’t there a zillion people there all the time?

Ok, I think the same thing about the Macy’s Day Parade and every superhero movie. There are just a zillion people out on the streets of New York all the time. It’s always crowded.

Well not quite. I went there for a weekend once and that was my biggest surprise. The streets weren’t packed with people. Sure, it wasn’t exactly Cadiz, Kentucky, but it wasn’t always the crush of people I see on Home Alone either.

Well in Jerusalem, it was crowded. It was crowded because it was one week before Passover and it was the job of every man of the house to go pick out the lamb they would kill and eat 7 days later. Because of corruption in the temple and the picky priests, your best bet was to just go get one from the priests themselves.

Kind of like buying socks at the trampoline park. Sure, you can bring your own, but they’ll charge you a dollar to trash the ones they give you. Sure, you can bring your own food to the stadium, but they’ll charge you $8 for every meal you cater in there.

[I’m not bitter.]

So this day, there is a much larger than usual crowd in Jerusalem. They are there to pick their lamb for the Passover, and that is exactly what they are doing.

They are rejoicing because they are so glad that Jesus is finally taking the posture of a king. There have been a few times when they wanted to make Him a king of their own design, but He got out of it.

Now, here He is, fulfilling the prophecy that their king would come riding on a young donkey from Zechariah 9:9.

As we know from our past year of protests, it doesn’t take much to get a bunch of people, happy or sad, chanting about something. Here, the disciples began, but then the crowds joined in. Word of Jesus from Nazareth was all over the place and almost everybody knew somebody that knew somebody that had a story about this guy.

To call Him a king was one thing, but to say “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” was next level. This means that Jesus was the Messiah. This meant that Jesus was going to do what all of the Pharisees had failed to do.

The Kingdom of God was at hand.

Jesus’ reply to the leaders is so good. “Even the rocks will cry out,” means that it is a truth so evident that all creation attests to it. Psalm 19 says “the heavens declare the glory of the Lord” and that has never been more true than when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Lamb Selection Day.

This is the Messiah. This is your King, Israel, and even the rocks know it to be true.

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