Despite the fact that Jesus would soon die at the hands of Roman soldiers, there can be no doubt that He was in charge of all that was taking place. When the crowd shouted “Hosanna!” which means “Save!” they could not understand what the Savior Himself knew: He was fulfilling the prophecy contained in Psalm 118:27. He would be the “sacrifice” for His people on the “altar” of God.
Meanwhile, the Redeemer who was rejected by the religious leaders of the Jews was performing signs of judgment against God’s covenant community. The “fig tree” of Israel would be “cursed” because it had no “fruit.” Jesus also “overturned the tables” of those doing business in the temple courts because they had made God’s “house of prayer” into a “den of robbers.”
The disciples were amazed to see their Master so confidently announcing judgment and executing signs that showed divine displeasure, but the religious rulers were not amused. They questioned Him with obvious impudence. They asked “by what authority” He was “doing these things.” He did not yield to them for a moment, but instead asked them about the baptism of John. Was it “from heaven or from man?” They were unwilling to answer since either a positive or a negative answer would have exposed their own unrighteousness before the people.
Though “the chief priests and the scribes and the elders” hated Jesus, they were unable to overcome the complete authority that He had to save His church. History has largely forgotten the men who once seemed in charge of Jerusalem, but the Messiah who died on a cross “always lives to make intercession” for those who “draw near to God through Him” (Hebrews 7:25). He calls us to “prayer,” insisting that we ask with the confidence of faith and that we “forgive” all who have done anything against us.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord Jesus, You came into Jerusalem as a humble and peaceful King. Help us to see You rightly. You are in charge of every detail of history, and have all power and authority, yet You were willing to be low that we might be saved. Will Your church be without any gospel fruit today? May it never be, O Lord. Purify Your temple and grant us a life of intercession as those who know that all good things come from You. We ask You in prayer for that which we believe to be agreeable to Your will. We trust that we have received these gifts even now, and that all that we obediently request is certainly ours in Your Son, for You have told us to pray with faith. We gladly forgive others, lest our entreaties be hindered. Have mercy on us!