Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Word spread like wildfire through the city, overflowing with pilgrims come to celebrate the Passover. As the news 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 celebrants and was picked up and swept over the crowds, “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 rose up from the valley until it seemed the whole world was ringing with one voice the sacred Messianic Psalm that was part of the Passover worship service in the Temple.
As the people watched the carpenter of Galilee slowly make his way down the steep road and across the valley to enter the Eastern Gate of the Temple they knew that this, this was what the sacred psalm had spoken of, this was what they and their fathers and generations before them had waited for, had prayed for, what the prophets had foretold, 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!
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon the foal of an ass." Zechariah 9:9
"Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
Psalm 118:19-29 (the portion of the “Hallel,” the Messianic psalm that was chanted in the Temple during the Passover worship service, fulfilled by Jesus in the week of his passion.