The Palm Sunday Crowd

Lou Lotz

READ : Matthew 21:1-11

The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (v. 9)

You seldom hear anyone say anything nice about the Palm Sunday crowd. Today, Palm Sunday, preachers will remind their congregations that many in that crowd who on Sunday were shouting “Hosanna!” were on Friday shouting “Crucify him!” Be that as it may, here’s one preacher who thinks the crowd is not as bad a bunch as we’ve been led to believe. Granted, some of them probably did vote for Barabbas over Jesus. But my guess is that every charter member of the first Christian church in Jerusalem was in that crowd on that first Palm Sunday.

What I admire most about the crowd is their enthusiasm. People ran alongside and ahead of Jesus. They sang and shouted. They spread their garments on the road. They waved palms. The scene bubbles with spontaneous joy and heartwarming enthusiasm. And we look down our noses at them, we who have perhaps never once let loose with a single “Hosanna!” for Jesus?

I remember reading how Eugene Ormandy once dislocated his shoulder while conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. He certainly must have been enthusiastic about his music that night. And then I ask myself: have I ever dislocated anything – even my necktie – out of enthusiasm for Jesus? Have you?


Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest!