Where Did That Come From?
by Pastor Frank Rice
We’ve all experienced it… someone says something that is completely unexpected and even seems out of character. We look at them and think, and we may even say, “Where did that come from?” As Jesus enters Jerusalem, on what we refer to as His “triumphal entry,” the spontaneous, unanimous chorus & conduct of the masses is inexplicable! “Where did it come from and what does it matter?”
I. All Four Gospel Writers Record Similar Reactions from the Crowds.
❖ The scene is mentioned by all the gospel writers in similar terms.
- There’s the unbroken donkey and Jesus riding comfortably on its back! The saddle consists of people’s clothing.
- The entourage is entering, descending from the Mount of Olives and into the city of Jerusalem thru the Eastern Gate.
- The crowds are pressing in on the donkey and it’s Rider, and everyone is welcoming them. (Well, almost everyone!) “When Judah had no king, Zechariah anticipated his return by weaving strands from David’s return and Solomon’s coronation into Israel’s Messianic narrative.” (Zech 9:9)
- There are also clothes and freshly cut palm branches strewn on the road on which the parade is traveling into the city.
❖ The sounds from the multitudes were spontaneous and in unison as they expressed themselves as “one voice!”
- There are loud “Hosannas,” a term originally meaning “God save us,” but “by the first century was probably just a cry of praise to Yahweh.” (Blomberg)
- These are directed to the “Son of David,” the linage from which Messiah was prophesied and expected to come.
- The multitudes recognize that He has been authorized and sent by the Lord, He comes in His name!
- He is called the King of Israel! They “acclaim Jesus as king through their actions and/or words.” (Green) (Application?)
- And the usurpers are not exactly happy about any of this, demanding that He shut them down! (The usurpers understand!)
“The whole picture conveys celebration and honor, reminiscent of the victory parades with which triumphant kings and generals in OT and intertestamental times were welcomed.” (Blomberg)
II. The Conduct and Choruses Are Rooted in Historical Realities!
❖ A number of phrases, seven to be exact, would trigger thoughts of David, leading to the conclusion that he wrote Psalm 118. [NT writers and Jesus Himself have been accused of ripping verses out of context to suit their own tastes. That accusation discloses an ignorance and distrust of scripture!]
- “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good” is easily attributed to the writings of David (1 Chron 16:7, 8, 34, 41). Psalms 113-118 (the Hallel) “were traditionally cited by Jews during the Passover.”
- “The LORD is on my side” echoes the claims of David in what is known as the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7:9).
- “It is better to take refuge in the LORD” is David’s heart cry! “Thirty of the forty-five instances where God is acknowledged as a refuge are in psalms attributed to David.” (Guenter)
- “All nations surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off” is a certain reference to David’s multiple military encounters (2 Sam 7:1, 9)!
- “The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation!” Though rooted in the Exodus song of triumph (Ex 15), it is unmistakably a psalmic & Davidic expression!
- “I shall not die but live” points to a dark time in David’s life when sin, death, and grace came together (2 Sam 12:5 & 13).
- “The LORD has disciplined me severely” recalls the fourfold consequences of his indiscretion. (These are from vv. 1-18.)
“Details within Psalm 118 explain how first century Jews would reasonably have attributed it to David upon his triumphal return from Absalom’s revolt.”
“By duplicating many features of his own return after Absalom’s revolt, David established the protocol for welcoming the rightful kings of Jesse’s linage.” (Guenter)
❖ There is a marked transition as the Psalmist “sets up” 1st century multitudes for the Son of David’s entrance into Jerusalem! “The crowds spontaneously adapted Psalm 118 to laud Jesus as their king.”
- The gates are open for the righteous (the Righteous One?) to enter (vv. 19-20).
- Praise is appropriate from those who’ve experienced God’s deliverance (v. 21).
- What men have considered worthless; God has highly valued and designated a day for celebration (vv. 22-24).
- Man’s only intelligent and reasonable response is to praise God for the One who has come in His name and for His voluntary sacrifice (vv. 25-27).
- For God’s loving-kindness, men are obligated and privileged to rejoice and give thanks (vv. 28-29).
“Until His final approach to Jerusalem, Jesus avoided opportunities to present Himself as Israel’s king, but when He sent two of His disciples to find the colt, His intention to be publicly hailed as king was immediately recognized.” (Guenter)
“The apparent spontaneity with which the crowd of disciples employed Psalm 118 suggests that, at least within their circles, these ideas were so commonly held that, without rehearsal, they welcomed Jesus within these conventions and found within the familiar lines of Psalm 118 not only echoes of David’s triumphant return but also echoes that expressed perfectly their own longings for the appearance of the Son of David.” (Guenter)
What the crowd proclaimed thru their spontaneous, unrehearsed, and unified chorus and conduct, intentionally or unintentionally, was that
Jesus is the King of Israel,
Jesus is the Savior,
Jesus is the Son of David,
Jesus is the promised Messiah,
and Jesus is the One authorized to come in the name of the LORD!