People Shouting, “Oh Save!”

Mark 11:1-11

11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.


Jesus is welcomed in a culturally appropriate reception for a victorious king returning to their hometown. This is a parade that holds celebration, but more than that, it holds real hope for a new future. Real hope for a new future. But, we will see that the future hope that is sought and the future hope that is bought is different. Expectations are not met, Jesus is deemed dangerous. God must be protected by His people. Jesus is murdered within five days! God’s will is done.

I Corinthians 2: For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Let’s set the background for the last week of Jesus’ life. Jesus has not spent time ministering in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is dangerous for Him. He has a hard enough time with the Jewish leaders up north around Galilee! But Jesus does go to Jerusalem here at the end. But before He goes, there is a clear delineation in ministry. Looking at geography and three separate times of communication, we see that from Peter’s confession Jesus is moving toward Jerusalem to die.

  1. Background for Jesus’ Coming to Jerusalem


  1. Confession up north

        Matthew 16:

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.


  1. Journey of purpose

        Jesus has been avoiding Jerusalem. Why?

Jesus is now traveling toward Jerusalem. Why?

Mark 8:31ff at Caesarea Philippi

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

Mark 9:30-31 at Galilee

30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

The paragraph header says, (Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time)


Mark 10:32 on His way up to Jerusalem

32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

The paragraph header says (Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time)


Mark 11:1 Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem



  1. A face set like flint

        Luke 9: While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

        Luke 9:

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 

(This is chronologically after the second time He told them about the Jerusalem suffering and death)


I don’t think this was easy for Jesus. He has poured his time and energy into people who should know better, but who are not submissive to God and His kingdom.

And so Jesus enters Jerusalem, knowing that He will not last long there. But He receives the adulation of the people, because He deserves it!

Luke 19: 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”



  1. The Palm Sunday Event
  2. Fulfilling Prophecy

        Psalms 118:

22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
 and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
 up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.


Psalms 118 is a Psalm of worship that begins with an individual thanking God for saving him. This individual is thought to be the king. But, the call is for the worshippers to share in the same call to thanksgiving and the same experience of salvation. So, those called to worship God for His love that endures forever share in the same experience of God’s salvation.

So: The stone that the builders rejected: This is a verse that we see applied to the king. But it also applies to all Israel. And this is true of the people here on Palm Sunday.


Jesus is the king. He is seen as exalted by God. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, the most foundational stone. The very first stone in what is being built.


And so the people, who celebrate the king and praise God for the king, share in this same new significance. Those who were rejected as being valuable or worthy, are now sharing in the same great significance as the king. It’s a wonderful picture of Jesus’ ministry!


And so, in anticipation of God’s action and remembrance of their need, they cry out: “Lord Save Us!”  Which is hosanna, basically.


And we see the people focusing this desire and praise on Jesus and God through Jesus.


Zechariah 9:

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.


  1. Confession, Supplication and Adoration

        What elements of personal need and response are expressed toward Jesus?

The people confess their need of salvation. What do they want salvation from? From the authority of Rome. They seek to have full self-rule in the land that God has promised to them. It has been hundreds of years since the Babylonian captivity and they have gone from one kingdom’s rule to another. When they seek God’s kingdom, they seek to rule themselves.    


  1. Prelude to betrayal and murder

        How can these people go from being so exultant to so disappointed with Jesus so quickly? This is because of expectations. The heart’s desire of the people is for a salvation of their choosing. But they are not in line with God’s desire for them.

As long as God only allows what we like, He is good with us. This is a dangerous mindset. Mainly because we are not God!

Luke 19: 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (This happens in about forty years!)

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’[c]; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’[d]

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 


III. Jesus Becomes Confrontational


  1. God is rejecting Israel

        Parables of rejection:

Matthew 21:

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’[h]?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

Jesus cursing the fig tree is coupled with John the Baptist’s warning.

The fig tree is Israel. How could God be cursing Israel? Jesus is the seed of the woman from Genesis 3. He is the resolution of the curse. HE is the Son of God! Should we compare Israel’s greatness and ability to save to that of the Son of God who spoke creation into existence? Really?

Jesus is the seed of Abraham through whom all the blessings of Abraham are bestowed.

Jesus is the end of the law, the fulfillment of the law in the lives of people. Through the law we become aware of our sinfulness. That’s how it worked for me! And because of my sinfulness, when I heard that Jesus died for my sin I KNEW IT WAS GOOD NEWS!


  1. God is changing the temple

        Jesus drives out the money lenders.

Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple.

Jesus calls the Temple His Father’s house.

Jesus describes Himself as more important than the temple.



  1. People are missing God

        If you are missing God and you are aware that you are missing God, then what do you need to know? How to change. How to not miss God. You would be going from a stone rejected, to a stone of purpose.

Ephesians 2:

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,

18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.