When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
What does it take to get you to shout? What has to happen for you to jump out of your seat and yell and the top of your lungs?
How easily do you shout out loud, or are you the kind that hides? Do you bottle-up your feelings to the point of bursting?
When it comes to sports, we love to shout. We scream out loud, losing control of our carefully polished outside image. When the ball goes in the basket, or out of the park, we celebrate. When the receiver catches the ball, or the putt drops, we jump up and down, screaming and cheering.
But we explode and express our celebration differently at different times. It can be the exact same event, doing exactly the same thing, but at different times, under different circumstances.
· Hitting the ball into the hole from the fairway is a great thing, but we celebrate differently if it’s the 3rd hole vs. the 18th hole on the last day of a tournament that decides the winner.
· Slamming a homerun in the first inning on the third day of the season vs. in the bottom of the nineth inning, game seven of the World Series.
· Bowling a strike in the second frame vs. throwing a 12th consecutive strike for a perfect, 300 game.
You see, timing and circumstances definitely influence our reaction. Yes, we’re happy about a shot going in during the first quarter of a basketball game. But when the winning shot goes in with time expiring, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.
The same can be said for Jesus. I;s one thing for Jesus to walk into Jerusalem, he’d done it many times before. But this time, the how and when he comes into Jerusalem makes all the difference in the world.
He came into Jerusalem the Sunday before the Passover, so the city would have been filled with visitors from near and far. They would’ve come to remember God’s miracles deliverance from Egypt that first Passover.
And he rode on a colt, a clear symbol to those people that he was claiming to be God’s deliver, the Messiah. And we know that they picked up on it quickly because they covered the road in front of him with coats, branches, and palm fronds.
The other way we know that they saw the meaning is that they started shouting praise to God and quoting promises of God about them and his savior. Just like making a long and difficult putt at the end of a golf tournament causes the crowd to shout, Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a colt just before Passover, they could not help themselves but to shout.
There was no possible way they would’ve done these things just because someone handed out leaflets, telling them about Jesus and what this meant. Or if their Twitter feed told them to do it.
They were looking for God to send them his savior and to free them. Jesus is clearly and loudly saying that he’s the one. And they “get it.”
Their reaction is both logical and emotional.
· Logical – Jesus has all the requirements that they were looking for, and he’s personally claiming to be God’s chosen savior, the Messiah.
· Emotional – They’d been looking for God to show up all their lives, and for hundreds of years through prophecy. And now he’s here. No wonder they threw down their outer coats and started shouting with all their might in a great, emotional outburst.
When was the last time that God clearly and powerfully showed up, causing you to shout thanks to him? When was the last time you were so thankful to God that you threw down the “outer coat” that you use to cover yourself from the pain and hurts of this world? Of your life?
God is speaking to us. God is reaching out to us. Other than pride, what’s stopping us from responding?
There’s an old hymn that ends with a phrase that expresses exactly how we will respond, when we clearly see who Jesus is and what he’s done.
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise.
 Love Divine, All Love Excelling, Charles Wesley, 1747