When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives,the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38 NIV)
Relate: To understand what the people were cheering, I am going to first give a short summary of Psalms 118:
118:1-7 The Lord has been with me even in difficult times.
118:8-14 He has given me victory over my enemies.
118:15-21 I will live and enter into the victory He has won for me.
Then quoting vs 22-25
The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!
It is here that we pick up with what Luke says the people were crying out:
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
The people of Israel weren’t just picking one line out of one Psalm at random to shout out. Quoting a portion of this Psalm evokes it in its entirety in the crowd, and Jesus, and the Pharisee’s minds. Interestingly, in John they are also shouting “Hosanna” which is a portion of the verse before this. Today we use the word as an exclamation of praise but it actually comes from two Hebrew words Yasha (deliver) and Anna (beg/request). It is translated into the English here: “Lord, save us!”
The crowd was completely correct when they recognized Jesus entry into Jerusalem was a hugely significant prophetic moment. They just did not understand the method and the means by which their coming King would bring their deliverance. They wanted freedom from Rome. He was bringing a much deeper freedom and in their disillusionment and disappointment, they would still have a part to play.
React: The road to victory is through death. Jesus modeled this in His coming. When the King entered Jerusalem, He came to die. Not that day, but very soon. He walked the most difficult of roads so that we can know He understands the difficult roads we might have to walk through in our life. The Lord is with us even in difficult times. In allowing Himself to be nailed to that tree, to die, and then in rising from the dead on the third day, Jesus has given us our victory over our enemies. Now we can live and enter into the victory He has won for us.
God, I thank You that You have come. You, my King, have walked a road I should have walked. You have come to pay a price that should have been mine. It was my sin that nailed You to the tree. But You also proved Yourself much stronger than death. The grave could not hold You down. You won the victory that I might rise with You. I acknowledge the truth of who You are and what You have done for me. I surrender my life to You that I might now live in the victory You have purchased for me.