Day 38 (4/1)
Day 38: Why did the crowds carpet the road before Him with their cloaks and prayer shawls and palm branches, and why were they shouting Hosanna?
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:7-9
Written by Julie Saffrin
7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The crowds’ laying cloaks on the road signified a denouncement of any previous kings and acted as a coronational path of a new King being put on the throne.
In Old Testament texts, laying of cloaks was a sign that a new king had been enthroned. In 2 Kings 9:1-13, Elisha asked a young prophet to anoint a new king – Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat. The anointing was done under cover and quickly, but once “the [men] blew the trumpet and declared, ‘Jehu is king,”’ those in attendance, “sprang into action. Each man grabbed his robe; they piled them at the top of the steps for a makeshift throne.”
Likewise, the disciples placed their cloaks on the colt for Jesus, and the crowd recognized Jesus as Yahweh’s Messiah and honored and hailed Him by providing a royal carpeted entrance to Jerusalem, fit for a king. Jonathan Parnell, a pastor in Minneapolis writes in Desiringgod.org, “all these formed a tapestry of endearment toward Israel’s long-awaited Messiah.”
The last Jewish king coronated on a mule was King Solomon (I Kings 1:38). Solomon rode his father, King David’s, royal mule. Jesus, a descendant of David, and the “Anointed One,” (Matt. 1:18), fulfilled this messianic coronation. His riding on a colt was a signal to the Jewish people that Jesus, was in fact, the Davidic King and their Messiah, the true King of kings.
Palm trees grew in abundance in the area during Jesus’ time. They were regarded as tokens of joy and triumph and used on festive occasions (Lev. 23:4, Neh. 8:15). John, the writer of Rev. 7:9 says palms will be in future too. “I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there – all nations and tribes, all races, and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing Salvation to our God on His Throne! Salvation to the Lamb!”
The crowds had followed Jesus from towns where he’d performed miracles on them. Their laying of cloaks, waving of palm branches, and shouted Hosannas were outward signs of inward thanks, giving honor to their King for all Jesus had done for them.
They were exuberant! “Hosanna, to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” In Aramaic, Hosanna means, “Bring the victory, Lord!” They believed Jesus would.
Reflection: What can you place on your couch, chair, or desk this week to act a visual Hosanna to the One Who comes in the name of the Lord?
Prayer: Oh Lord, what joy those in the crowd must have felt to be in Your presence, to Honor you with shouts of praise and hosannas. Thank You for indeed, bringing the victory in our lives. Amen.