Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! Matthew 21:9
A few years ago, a woodpecker began tapping on the siding of our home. We thought the problem was only external. Then one day, my son and I climbed up a ladder into the attic only to have a bird fly past our startled faces. The problem was worse than we’d suspected: it was inside our house.
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the crowd was hoping He would be the one to fix their external problem—their oppression by the Romans. They went wild, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9). This was the moment they’d been waiting for; God’s appointed King had come. If God’s chosen Deliverer was going to begin reforming things, wouldn’t He start with all the wrong out there? But in most gospel accounts, the “triumphal entry” is followed by Jesus driving out exploitative moneychangers . . . from the temple (vv. 12–13). He was cleaning house, and from the inside out.
That’s what happens when we welcome Jesus as King; He comes to set things right—and He starts with us. He makes us confront the evil inside. Jesus on the donkey is like the warriors in the Trojan horse. The horse was welcomed as a symbol of peace, but its ultimate aim was unconditional surrender. Jesus our King requires the same from us.
What does it mean for Jesus to be your King? Why is it vital for you to surrender your all to Him?
Dear Jesus, You’re the true King. Forgive me for wanting You to only fix the problems in the world around me and not to confront the sin in my heart. Show me where I’m prone to wander and expose the ways I want to run my own life.
It’s not surprising that the Jewish people were expecting a political savior. The Old Testament prophets repeatedly foretold of a military deliverance from oppressive enemies. Importantly, Matthew 21:5 quotes the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and informs us this is a reference to Jesus. Zechariah spoke of a “righteous and victorious” King who would come “lowly and riding on a donkey” (v. 9), just as Jesus did. But where was the victory the people were expecting? The context of the entire chapter of Zechariah 9 is one of military conquest and deliverance.
As with many messianic prophecies, this one has only been fulfilled in part, and even that fulfillment wasn’t what the people were expecting. They never thought the Messiah would go to the cross as part of God’s plan. Jesus will fulfill the rest of the messianic prophecies when He returns for us, as He has promised to do.