“Hosanna!” was the word that began the most explosive 7 days in all of eternity. Never would there be a week, nor a word, that would so profoundly impact every life in recorded history.
It was Passover week in Jerusalem and nearly 2.5 million people were crowding the streets of this ancient city. All adult Jewish males were required to come to Jerusalem three times a year with Passover being one of those times. What a week for the presentation of a King!
As Jesus rode through the jammed streets, the mass of humanity threw their cloaks on the way ahead of Him. Fittingly, such was the historical way that a population would welcome their victorious king home from battle.
This exuberant crowd also cut branches from trees along the way and threw them in front of the King on His donkey. They waved the branches high above their heads as they proclaimed, “Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
These people were worshippers! They were declaring, “Everything that we have is Yours, Jesus!”
The holy city of Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims who had come for the annual Passover celebration. Jesus had spent many months traveling through the towns and villages of Palestine. He preached about the kingdom of God and healed the sick wherever He went. Now the time had come for Him to claim His title as the Messiah - the Savior that God had promised to the Jewish people.
Jesus knew His mission was almost finished. As they traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus warned His disciples that He would soon be put to death, and after three days He would rise again.
As they came near Jerusalem, Jesus told two of His disciples to go into a nearby village and bring a donkey that would be waiting there. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey. Crowds of people spread their coats on the ground in front of Him. Some waved branches of palm trees, a sign of victory. The people shouted,: Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord –the King of Israel!
Only a king would be greeted this way (2 Kings 9:13), and the people wanted Jesus to be their king. To understand what is about to take place in our passage today, it’s important to grasp at least three background details.