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Palm Sunday: Hosanna or Crucify Him? It's Your Choice Mark 11:1-10

By Nelson Price
Jesus Christ wants to share His eternal victory with you. An event that occurred on His last Sunday in Jerusalem illustrates this.

The sun was rising rapidly. It was beginning to shoot its golden arrows across the horizon to gild the sky and curtain off the dawn that would bring a new day to the history-filled city of Jerusalem. This is the festive season of Passover. The old city was filled with pilgrims, visitors, and travelers who had come from many countries to share in the feast. Secular census records indicate there were at least 2,500,000 people in Jerusalem for the event. An exciting rumor spread through the city: "Jesus Christ is coming!"

Behind Him were His sermons; ahead, His suffering. Behind Him were His parables; ahead, His passion. Behind Him were His suppers of fellowship; ahead, His last supper of betrayal. Behind Him the delights of Galilee; ahead, dark Gethsemane. Prophecy was now to become practice.

A mental walk through the event helps in making an application of great truths inherent in the day.

Jesus had spent the night at the home of friends in Bethany on the opposite side of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem. The two towns were no more than five miles apart.

Historians tell us that traditionally persons from various regions all had their special area around Jerusalem where they camped for feast days. The south end of the Mount of Olives had for years been the camping grounds of people from Galilee. These were the unsophisticated and unspoiled people of the area where Jesus spent most of His time and performed most of His miracles. They knew Him best. On several occasions they had tried to make Him a king (John 6:15). Mark 12:37 says of them, "The common people heard Him gladly." The Galileans were "the common people" with whom He was popular.

In the city of Jerusalem were the wealthy and superficially religious leaders. Jesus had antagonized them by referring to the "scribes and Pharisees" as "hypocrites" (Matthew 23). Also among them were the Sadducees who had long been plotting His downfall. In order to preserve their wealth and lifestyle, they had consorted with the conquering Romans. In doing so they compromised their faith. They had much to lose if they displeased their Roman overlords. These man-pleasing priests and scribes plotted their nefarious death scheme. The poorer Galileans had nothing to lose. The city dwellers would do anything to placate the Romans in order to continue to prosper.

To them the issue was "the economy, Stupid." In their eyes Jesus was an expendable. Besides, in the eyes of the religious leaders He was a threat to religious tradition, not the Messiah.

Notice that in Mark 11:9 there were two groups. "Those that went before" were persons who had come out of Jerusalem because of their curiosity as a result of all the shouting. "Those who followed" and "cried out" were the Galileans.

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