Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Not everyone in the crowd on Palm Sunday was worshipping Jesus. Richard Phillips, in Reformed Expository Commentary: John said, “As always, Jesus mastered the situation. One of his main purposes in the triumphal entry was to force the hand of those who sought to kill him. Unnerved by Jesus’ apparent popularity, the religions leaders were primed to accept Judas’s offer of betrayal. But they were playing Jesus’ game all along.” The religious leaders were not yelling “Hosanna” that day; they were making plans to put Jesus to death. But this was Jesus’ plan the whole time.
This is something I think we forget. It wasn’t the Romans or the Jewish religious leaders who put Jesus on the cross because He claimed to be King. It was God Himself who took up the cross because He was the King. The King was the only one who could pay the ransom for sins and transgressions for all humanity.
Judas, the Jewish religious leaders, Pilate, the jeering crowds—they were all a part of God’s grand plan. And this plan went off without a hitch.
Here is a striking thought. The same people who yelled, “Hosanna” may have been the same people who yelled, “Crucify Him!” But God was always in charge.
I wonder if, when Jesus heard the shouts for His death, He envisioned a different scene in His future. Revelation 7:9–10 says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
This was God’s plan all along.
Philippians 2:10 says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. I love the picture of Jesus being worshipped alongside His Father. Jesus is called the Lamb, the final sacrifice for all humanity. The world will know that Jesus is God and He deserved our worship.
Questions for reflection and discussion: The question is, will you get on your knees now and worship willingly, or wait until the final day when there is no longer a choice? We are all a part of God’s grand plan. What is your role? God will use the good and the bad to accomplish His will. If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, there is no better time than right now.
This week's devotionals were written by Scott Murray, the Young Adults Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church. Married to Katie and father of four, Scott graduated from Phoenix Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Leadership.