Day 1: The Crowd

Devotional by Jarrett Stephens

Read Matthew 21:1-11

Matthew 21:1-11

The Triumphal Entry

21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


The setting of this passage is Passover. In five short days, Jesus will offer up His life for the sins of the world. One can imagine how packed the city of Jerusalem was, lined with pilgrims that had traveled from all over to celebrate God’s deliverance of His people from the bondage and slavery of Egypt all those years ago.

The ministry of Jesus is at its climax. He is known for His preaching and performing of miracles, one of the latest being raising a man named Lazarus from the dead. Jesus is no longer a secret to the authorities wishing to kill Him, or in this case, the crowds wishing to crown Him. The day that Jesus enters Jerusalem, He is fulfilling a prophecy that had been given by Zechariah 500 years prior. The prophecy spoke of Israel’s coming king who would ride into Jerusalem humbly on a donkey (Zech. 9:9).

The irony is hard to miss. A king should be riding on a horse, not a donkey. A king should come in power, not lowly and humble. In this, we see that Jesus is a different kind of king. He is not at all what the people expected.

Still, they went “before him,” laying palm branches in front of Him, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9).

The word, “Hosanna” means “save now” or “please save us.” The crowds were repeating a psalm (118:25-26) they believed was being fulfilled right before their very eyes. What is significant about the text we are looking at today is not so much the crowd’s response to Jesus, it was Jesus’ response to the crowds – He received their veneration and worship.

Think about that! Not one time does Jesus tell this crowd to stop hailing Him as Israel’s king. We don’t read any hint of Jesus telling the crowd to settle down or warning them that things are getting out of hand. Luke’s account of this scene informs us that some Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke the crowds that were gathered worshiping Him (Luke 19:39-40). But instead, Jesus let them continue. He was worthy of their worship and therefore accepted their worship.

Jesus is worthy of our worship. The question is, will we be like the crowd and give Him the worship that is due His name?


1. Sometimes God does not operate in a way that we understand. Are you trusting the Lord in the circumstances of life even when it doesn’t seem to make sense?

2. Why do you think it was so easy for the Pharisees to be frustrated with Jesus?

3. Think about and list three to five reasons Jesus is worthy of your worship.

Pray This 

“Father, help me to worship You as You deserve to be worshiped. You are worthy, and I praise Your name. Thank You for going into Jerusalem that day fully knowing what awaited You. Thank You for laying down Your life for my sins and rising again to give me victory and hope in life and in death. May I be like the crowds that day on Passover that welcomed You in and worshiped You out loud. Amen.”

26 thoughts on “The Crowd | Holy Week 2023

  1. He forgave me of my sins. He is like a friend always there when you need him. He is worthy of my praises because he is the King of Kings. He is my refuge.

  2. Jesus received the worship and adoration of the crowd just as He received the worship of Thomas when he said, “My Lord and my God!” God incarnate, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world! Thank you Jesus for taking away my sin!!

  3. Jesus came into Jerusalem as a king of peace as kings rode donkeys during peace and horses during war.

  4. His life, death, and resurrection gave me life and set
    my feet on the path of righteousness. He choose me
    and called me out of the darkness

  5. He is worthy due to His mercy, forgiveness & sacrifice for me / all. Everyone worships something…but only Jesus raised the dead & rose from the dead.

  6. We are just like the Pharisees. They wanted to be in control of themselves and the people. Am I willing to let Jesus save me from myself and my selfish ways and let him truly be The Lord of my life, everyday? Even when it goes against the popular opinions and my own desires? He is my Savior, I daily have to let him be my Lord.

    Happy Palm Sunday everyone!

  7. True Worship is “an ascription of Worth & Value. There is only one person who is Worthy of our Praise & Thanksgiving! There is only one person I will Value more than any other! Thank you Jesus for your your entrance into my life!

  8. Top 5 reasons why Jesus is worthy of my worship:
    1. He is the Creator of ALL things!
    2. He is King of all kings; Sovereign over everything!
    3. He has the greatest LOVE of all.
    4. Because of His great love, He died on the cross to save me even though I don’t deserve it.
    4. He is forgiving; full of mercy.
    5. He is my Provider. Everything I have comes from Him.

  9. Excited to journey through these devotionals this week as a church family. Hosanna!

  10. What a unique joy it will be to learn and meditate on Scripture as a church family during this Holy Week! Looking forward to it.

  11. Matt. 21:10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
    It pleases God for us to be aware, not dismissive, but vulnerable enough to be curious, ask questions, wonder who he is and what he’s doing so we can join him. Praise God that he rewards us with answers, a desire to know him more as we seek him, believe, trust, obey and practice faith in Jesus (Heb. 11:6).

  12. As an opening LG leader I wanted to put together songs to describe Holy Week. I editeded songs to play just one verse.
    The songs are:

    To God Be the Glory,

    Coats and Branches

    When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

    Christ the Lord Is Risen to Today


    My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

  13. Worship opens the heart to receive of the blessings contained in the presence of God. As His word says, “He inhabits the praise of His people”. In the worship of His name and His person, we are in communion with Him and He with us. I thank God for the opportunity of worship.

  14. A Glorious way to open up the Holy Week. This devotional really makes you think about how much Jesus truly loves us. We don’t deserve such an selfless act, but He did it for us. He knew riding into Jerusalem that some of the same people shouting Hosanna would be shouting Crucify Him in a few days. Yet, Jesus did it all for us. True Selfless Unconditional Love for His Children.

  15. Every sin I have ever committed is a reason for which Christ died. His sacrifice on my behalf freed me from the penalty of each one. His love has covered a multitude of sins. Even if I spent every second of my eternity praising Him from here on out, it would still not give Him all the honor and glory due to His Name. Even the ability to praise Him comes not from me but His power at work within me. Without Him, I can do nothing. He is my Life. He MUST be.

  16. Jesus Christ is worthy of my praise because He alone freely gave His life over to death for my sins and rose again giving me new life, a new identity. In Him. I am no longer in bondage to this world but free in Christ Jesus. I will forever praise His Holy name for He and He only is Worthy of all praise.

  17. I’m so very grateful for a Heavenly Father Who created me and waited for me to look for Him and ask Him into my heart. I’m grateful, too, for my Christian parents who made sure that I knew about God’s love from the very beginning of my life.

  18. My shout will always be Hossana to the King who saves! I am most thankful He saved me. A few reasons for pouring all I am into all He is- He is my creator, He called me to be His( what an honor and privilege), He gave His life to give me life eternal with Him, He walks with me through the darkest valleys and brightest highest mountains, He SEEs me and loves me through it all. My Jesus, the sweetest name I ever know, I love you Lord, I thank you for loving me first 🙏🙏💃💃💃

  19. YES, I TRUST YOU LORD, even when I don’t understand and I ENTRUST my entire life to YOU!!!!

  20. 3 reasons that Jesus is worthy of my worship:
    1) Because of His power, freeing from the bondage of sin
    2) Because of His love, calling me His own and welcoming me into the family of God
    3) Because of His joy, giving me strength to live each day

  21. I so enjoyed this devotional. Thank you. It’s good to be in a church congregation that is pursuing Jesus alone to make Him our passion while we continue to mature as sons and daughters of our King!

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