Who Is This?
And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:10-11 NKJV
Did you ever receive a phone call and you asked the caller: “who is this?” You asked the question because you didn’t know the caller’s identity, or perhaps you weren’t sure or familiar with their voice. When the Lord calls, it’s a sad commentary if you have to ask: “who is this” because you aren’t familiar with His identity, neither do you know His voice (John 10:27). On the first “Palm Sunday”, Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem and called on the world as Savior and King; yet the multitudes right there in Jerusalem on this glorious day had to later ask: Who is this?
In humility, Jesus affirmed unmistakably His Messianic kingship by riding a donkey, a beast of royalty (1 Kings 1:33) into Jerusalem—in fulfillment of God’s prophetic plan and purpose according to Zechariah 9:9; yet on this royal occasion, no officials of Israel nor Rome came to welcome Him when He made His unveiled claim. None of them knew Him.
Jesus boldly declared Himself king and His glory were seen on earth on that day. The crowd of people spread their clothing in the way to pay homage to Him as king (2 Kings 9:13). And, the cutting of Palm tree branches was emblematic of victory and success. It was on this day that the multitudes in Jerusalem believed that salvation and deliverance had come to them, as a people and a nation. This sentiment was expressed by the people shouting “Hosanna to the son of David; Hosanna in the highest” (Matt. 21:9), i.e., “Save now . . . blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:25-26). They cried out save us from our occupiers and oppressors. Defeat the Romans and restore the kingdom to Israel.
Because Jesus didn’t start an armed revolution against the Roman occupiers or dethrone the Jewish leaders who conspired with Rome—He went to cleanse the outer court of the Temple. Not understanding the times and the season according to God’s divine plan (Acts 1:6-7), this fickle crowd began to question Jesus’ identity. “[A]ll the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matt. 21:10-11). All of a sudden, they weren’t so sure about Him, and in a few days they would cry out, “Crucify Him” (Matt. 27:22-26).
Who is this? Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world; the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth; the source of all healing and deliverance; the Lamb that was slain for our eternal salvation; the One who died and rose again the third day; Lord and Savior of all who believe; and, the King of kings and the Lord of lords!