We know the story of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus comes into Jerusalem riding on a young donkey with a multitude of people in high celebration…
“And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” -Matthew 21:8-11
It would be normal to hear about the change of heart this crowd goes under when Good Friday came. It can be said that there probably were a few that went from shouting, “Hosanna,” to “Crucify him.” That’s the power of crowd and influence. Yet, we are also told that that there were positive changes in peoples hearts also. Mark’s Gospel tells us of such a change in a guard, “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God” (15:39). It may be just as well to also believe that some of those who were crying for the crucifixion of the Lord were some of the first to repent at Peters sermon on the day of Pentecost. So, yes, this narrative of Jesus’ life contains people who had a change of heart. Some were sad but also some for the good.
Does that mean then that the praise people were giving to Jesus was empty? Maybe there were some who were just going with the flow of the crowd but many probably had deep gratitude and excitement for Jesus. Bill Hybels writes, “
“Some were political activists; they’d heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule. Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing. Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do, while others were genuine followers who wished Jesus would establish himself as an earthly king. Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why he was going to Jerusalem – to die.”
Everyone that was waving branches had hope. Hope that Jesus was going to do something in their life. That’s what we have in the resurrection. A lively hope (1 Peter 1:3).
Here is a acrostic for what hope in Jesus means.
H – Heavenly Father
Matthew 7:7-11 reminds us that we have our Heaven Father to take care of our needs. We can seek him in our troubles and he will answer. We don’t have to worry about whether He will show up or even be late. That is because He never leaves us.
O – Ongoing obedience
Hope compels us to continue in serving. Many times we will become tired of what feels like a burdensome calling. We are tempted to cut corners and take short cuts. Thinking all the while that perhaps a little leniency in something we know that is sin is actually not that bad. No the child that hopes in God continues to seek God in all of their thoughts, words, and actions.
P – Prays Through
We are told by Paul to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Many times our prayers are not much more than a mental thought. No, we must be a prayer warrior doing battle with the devil in an attitude of prayer. Faith is more than just a mental ascent to God’s existence and provisions. Faith is having the trust that God hears us when we pray and that He will answer.
E – Enduring Patience
Hope helps us to hold on. I’ve seen many people who have lost hope and quickly faded to death. The living hope that is in Jesus pulls us forward through our hardest trials and our longest seasons of waiting.