Could you imagine being a part of what happened in Mark 11:1-11?
Here’s this man you have been hearing about…some call him a teacher, some call him a prophet, while others call him the Messiah. He doesn’t look like a Messiah…he’s just the average Joe. A common carpenter from Nazarene. Yet, there is something in the way he is carrying himself today. If he was to wash up, shave, and put on a robe…maybe, just maybe he could be Jerusalem’s coming King.
You see him walking down the road with his usual followers and his disciples…how could this…Messiah hang out with such riffraff? Those disciples are a crazy bunch…much like you are. Jesus all of a sudden stops and you see him whispering something to a few of the disciples, then they run off toward a village.
In just a few minutes, they are heading back with a colt. What in the world is going on!? Why are they bringing a colt to Jesus? They start throwing their robes on it and Jesus mounts up on the donkey. Then without warning, your ear drums are pounding at the sounds of the roars and voices of the people.
They are all shouting…you can’t quite make out the words…you listen more intently…are they shouting… “Hosanna”? Hosanna…goodness…that means…save. Are these people mad? They think a king riding on a donkey can save them. Kings only ride donkeys when there is peace…their salvation cannot come at a time of peace!
Salvation comes when a war is waged with the enemy and there is bloodshed….how can this Jesus…this Messiah, be Israel’s King? As Jesus continues to ride down the street on the colt, people are laying down their robes and palm fronds so he can walk over them. What is the meaning of this? People only do this to honor someone worthy of praise. Your mind is racing with doubt…but in your heart, you know.
This must be the man that was spoken of centuries ago by the Prophet Zechariah. Your mother told you this prophecy time and time again before she died. As the crowd comes closer, their exuberance becomes stronger. A stirring begins to happen in your heart…in your soul. You run to the nearest palm tree and cut off a branch.
You begin to wave the branch and you say “Hosanna”. The words are doubtful at first, as your mind is still trying to wrap itself around this scene before you. As Jesus comes closer to you, you bend down to place the palm frond on the ground. As you are bent over, a shadow casts over you…and you realize…deep within your soul…you understand.
This man, this servant…He is the King of the Jews. He is the Son of Man…the Messiah. Your Messiah! You look up, and Jesus locks eyes with you. You begin to shout with all of your might “HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!”
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your king coming unto you; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon a donkey, even upon a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech 9:9).