“And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ ” Mark 11:8-10
There Jesus is. Riding on the colt of a donkey, led by one of the disciples through the streets of Jerusalem, in fulfillment of prophecy and the traditional entrance of royalty. It’s clear that the people immediately recognized what was going on because shortly after Jesus was seated on the back of the donkey the shout was raised and the people began to throng to give him praise and honor.
Never before had Jesus permitted this kind of display. He was deserving of this and more but it was not his purpose in coming to earth to receive honor and glory but to in humility take upon himself the pain of the penalty of sinful man.
So why this one significant departure from the consistent pattern to avoid display? Perhaps it was to draw from the people an acknowledgement of who he really was so that the full significance of what he would do, and what they would do to him, could be appreciated.
In the days to come one thing becomes clear, of those that spread their garments and laid out palm branches before him, of those that jubilantly shouted out his praises, few if any really knew why they were honoring the one they were giving a kings entrance.
Many times we’re like that crowd. Frequently we go through the motions of worship. Sometimes we’re even enthusiastic as we sing our praises to Jesus but do we really understand what he has done and what he is now doing for us? I fear that we do not. For if we did why then is it so easy for us to leave the house of worship and praise and forget his holy sabbath day and treat with so little care those whom he has created in his image?
We, like the people that day are too commonly mindless in our praise. We need to come to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us so that we can be mindful and worship Jesus from our hearts and not just our lips.