Where did the women get those tambourines?
Did they carry them hidden on their persons every day as they ventured into the streets leading to Jerusalem? Did the hope of Messiah lead them to a constant state of readiness? Somehow, as Jesus approached the city from the region of Bethany and the Mount of Olives, a spontaneous celebration broke out. It is difficult to imagine such a celebration without dancing women playing tambourines and singing happy psalms. This is not specifically mentioned in the text but the implication of it is irresistible.
As Jesus and the Twelve approached Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, He told two of the men to go ahead of Him into the city. He told them they would meet someone near the gates taking care of a colt of a donkey. He told them to procure the animal and if the keepers asked them why, they were to reply:
“Because the Lord has need of it.”
Such a strange set of circumstances! Not that a young donkey would be tethered there, but that the keepers would somehow release the valuable animal to strangers upon such a super-spiritual premise. Early that morning, the owner of the colt had to be prompted to tie it up at precisely that place without knowing why. Amazing! Perhaps the man had a sense of a special day about to unfold.
At any rate, the two disciples obeyed Jesus and found things just as He had foreseen them. They brought the animal to Jesus and covered it with items of clothing for a saddle and Jesus mounted up to ride the young beast into the city. This, too, is amazing. The donkey had never been ridden but it did not try to buck Jesus off. Somehow, it knew to follow the small but important role it had to play in the drama of redemption.
The parade begins.
All sorts of strange behaviors began to organize the crowds in the streets
- Some covered the roadway ahead of Jesus with their own outer garments.
- I am sure that musicians, always looking for a chance to play, struck up a tune, evidently a song of praise from the Psalms.
- People started singing important, Messianic psalms: “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
- From other sources we know they cut down tree branches to wave as they sang and the women and children danced.
Somehow the sight of Jesus riding a young donkey toward and through the gates of the ancient City of David excited the dormant hope for a Deliverer in the hearts of the people. Perhaps they remembered the ancient prophecy of Zechariah predicted just such an entrance for Messiah.
“Behold, your King is coming to you…
lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Without hesitation or thoughtful consideration they gave this hope full voice.
The Pharisees didn’t want to dance.
The last thing the leaders of the people needed was a “Messiah” riding through the streets. In their own careful machinations they had constructed a delicate balance between their tradition and the occupying Romans. This status quo was a fragile achievement. They told Jesus to stop the people. His answer was classic:
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Think a spontaneous parade is dangerous? Imagine singing and dancing rocks!
“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Luke: 19:28-40 NKJV
When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.'” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord !’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Zechariah 9:9 NKJV
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Lord Jesus, at any moment I am ready to sing Your praises! Hosanna! (meaning, “Save us now, Lord!”) is always near my heart. You are the One who comes in the name of the Lord! You come to me in the volume of the Book of ancient prophecies and they are fulfilled in You! You are my hope and salvation. May my life today be a parade of praise, a wonderful procession of worship and witness so that all who see and hear me, will somehow see and hear You! For Your glory, Lord! Amen.
Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
Words: Jennette Threlfall; Music: Traditional Tune- “Ellacombe”
1. Hosanna, loud hosanna the little children sang;
through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them, close folded to his breast,
the children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.
2. From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
the victory palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of earth and heaven rode on in lowly state,
nor scorned that little children should on his bidding wait.
3.”Hosanna in the highest!” That ancient song we sing,
for Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven, our King.
O may we ever praise him with heart and life and voice,
and in his blissful presence eternally rejoice.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.