Matthew 21:1-11, Zechariah 9:9
The most awkward moment of my life happens every year. Is there anything more uncomfortable than people looking only at you while they sing “Happy Birthday”? I don’t like the attention. And should it happen in public at a restaurant, you can help yourself to the rest of my (former) friends.
Did you notice today, on Palm Sunday, how Jesus doesn’t deflect from receiving people’s praise? All throughout the Gospels, Jesus is constantly saying, “Don’t tell anyone what I did for you just yet.” Jesus doesn’t crave the hype machine people want to crank up when He’s around—except here.
On Palm Sunday, as Jesus rides an unflashy donkey into town, He doesn’t redirect all the attention He’s getting. The scene is unignorable. The crowd is raucous; they are tossing clothes on the street. Jesus is receiving total and undeniable adoration. In chapter 19, Luke tells us they are praising loudly and joyfully (v. 37). And of course, the Pharisees are there, trying to squelch the joy. They tell Jesus to put a muzzle on all the craze—the singing, the volume, the palm branches—they want it gone. The Pharisees want Jesus to be ignorable. But Jesus disagrees.
The Lord on the donkey says He won’t tell His disciples to stop singing. And even if He did, the stones they are standing on would form a choir (v. 40). The Pharisees are uncomfortable with everything going on, but Jesus, as the center of attention, isn’t uncomfortable at all. The praise is right. It’s holy. It’s exactly what should be happening. Why? Because Jesus is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Jesus is the Messiah the people of God have waited for since the promise in Eden (Genesis 3:14-15). Jesus is the King, from David’s line, who will reign and rule forever.
Jesus bears the very name of God, and came to rescue His people from their slavery to sin and death. He came to die for us, to pay for our sins. He rose from the grave to give us new life. Is this your song, too? Today, by faith, do you share in the song, proclaiming Him as Messiah? Do you join the crowd in singing the praises of your King? Let us rejoice! Let us praise our King in a way that cannot be ignored.
Written by Jeff Medders