He’s coming! Word spread like wildfire through the city, overflowing with pilgrims come to celebrate the Passover. And as word spread, throngs began to fill the streets, and like a river that has burst its banks the swelling crowds spilled out into the valley that separated the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. The roadsides were quickly filled with Passover worshipers, many lifting high their palm fronds and waving and shaking them excitedly as they strained to catch a glimpse of the man the whole city was talking about. Jesus of Nazareth. A prophet? No doubt! No one spoke like him, or did the miracles he did, telling the lame to walk, the blind to see, even commanding the dead to rise. Many were even calling him the Messiah!
And then suddenly he appeared! At the very top of the mount where the road began to descend into the valley. And he was riding a donkey! Just as the prophet Zechariah had foretold! A cheer went up from the multitudes that lined the road, and they began to wave their palm branches. A chant began somewhere among the crowds and was picked up and swept over the whole people, “Hosanna, O save us now we beseech you, Hosanna to the King, the Son of David. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.” The chanting swelled to a roar that echoed off the mountains and flowed down into the valley until it seemed the whole world was singing with one voice the sacred Messianic Psalm that was part of the Passover worship service in the Temple, but the people who were watching the carpenter of Galilee slowly make his way down the steep road and across the valley to enter the Eastern Gate of the Temple knew that this, this was what that psalm had spoken of, this was what they and their fathers and generations before them had waited for, what the prophets had foretold, what the Law had foreshadowed, this moment in time when the Son of David, the King of Israel would come, entering this gate on the foal of a donkey, come to deliver his people and establish his kingdom, and they were witnesses. Oh, Hosanna to Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the King of Israel. Blessed is he who has come in the name of the Lord! Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:25-26