Hosanna – Save Us!

Hosanna – Save Us!: Mark 11:1-11
Pastor John Nicholas
Sunday December 6, 2020

They had come from Jericho, Jesus and His disciples.  About 15 miles from Jerusalem.  To the east.  As they left they had run into Bartimaeus.  A blind man.  A beggar.  Sitting by that ancient road.  Cries out to the Son of David, Jesus.  Remember that.  The son of David.  How does he know.

Bartimaeus, calls to Him.  Have mercy of me Jesus.  Please have mercy on me Jesus!  You need to remember this too.  And Jesus did have mercy on Bartimaeus.  Healing him.  He could see!

And the result, he followed Jesus.  On the road.  On the road that leads to Jerusalem.  The road to the temple.  The road to Golgotha.  The cross looming in the distance.  The tomb.

It is now Sunday.


The Triumphal Entry

1 And as they *approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He *sent two of His disciples,

This is only the second time that all four synoptic gospels record the same thing (the other being the feeding of the five thousand).  The group had left Jericho to the east, and slightly north.  10 – 15 miles away.  They were following Him and they came near to Jerusalem to Bethpage and Bethany.  Bethpage to the north (and lost to time) and Bethany to the south.  Two miles east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives, which lies closer to but east of Jerusalem.  The Mount of Olives.  Where the Garden of Gethsemane is located.  This triumphal entry with those who were following Jesus.  Jesus on the road to the cross.  The final week.  Sunday.

Not only the disciples but we can also assume that Bartimaeus was there along with others who were following.  Mark has given us the general location.  And John tells us that they are in Bethany.  The location of Lazarus.  Where Martha and Mary are located.  And Golgotha is in the distance.

This is the beginning of The Week.  The Week unlike any other.  The Week that leads to Salvation.

And Jesus sends two disciples.  More than likely one of these is Peter.  And we can know this by the details.


2 and *said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.

He tells the two that it is necessary that they go into the town before them, opposite them, Bethpage.  Just north of the road.  A short journey over there.  I want you to go over there and collect a colt for me to ride on.   A polos – colt, a foal, the young of a horse or a donkey, unridden.  Not only are you to get this animal but you will find it there immediately as you enter the city.

Now this is interesting.  Jesus is telling them that not only are you to get this animal for me but you won’t have to look for it. You won’t have to go down the by whys.  You won’t have to got to the local stable.  You won’t even have to pay for it.  As soon as you enter the city you will find the donkey tied, and never ridden.  Matthew tells us in chapter 21 of his gospel that the foal is with its mother, tied there.

Not a prediction but a necessary outcome of the nature of Christ.  He is the God/Man on the way to the cross since before creation.  This foal, this colt is a necessary part of the story.  Telling the two disciples this, with others listening, we wonder if there was any doubt about whether or not they would find it as they were told.  Perhaps Peter and his companion were prepared to search far and wide in the city for a suitable animal.  Or perhaps they knew it would just as Jesus said.

The chief idea here is the donkey.  This unbroken, unridden foal.  What is behind this?  Why does Jesus specifically say that it is unridden?  Since all the words of Christ are the words of God it must be important.  It must point to something.  And in this case it is additional information that is pointing to the messianic secret.  That is – Jesus is the messiah.

If we take the time and we look at Numbers 19:2 and Deuteronomy 21:3 we find that the unbroken animal is considered sacred.  That it is meant for sacred/holy duty.

Numbers 19:2-5 (NASB)

2 “This is the statute of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never been mounted.

3 And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be brought outside the camp and be slaughtered in his presence.

4 And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times.

5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight; its hide, its flesh, and its blood, with its refuse, shall be burned.

Deuteronomy 21:3 (NASB)

3 And it shall be that the city which is nearest to the person killed, that is, that the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd that has not been worked and has not pulled in a yoke;

Now when we consider the animal as sacred we should take the time to look at Gen 49:10-11 where we find the curious words – ‘until Shiloh comes’.  And that this Shiloh that comes it will be with a donkey.  It can take a little time with this so that we can get behind the meaning.  It is not the easiest translation to get the meaning but we find that in the midrash, the rabbinic interpretation of the OT, that Shiloh is used in reference to the coming Messiah.  It is a prophecy with regard to the coming of the Messiah.  Now turn to Zechariah 9:9.  Here we find another prophecy with regard to the Messiah – that He will come as a king, mounted on a donkey.

Genesis 49:10-11 (NASB)

10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

Until Shiloh comes,

And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

11 He ties his foal to the vine,

And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;

He washes his garments in wine,

And his robes in the blood of grapes.

Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)

9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!

Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;

He is righteous and endowed with salvation,

Humble, and mounted on a donkey,

Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

What Jesus is doing is again showing who He is.  He is the Messiah.  The promised one.  The King that will enter on a foal, a donkey.  Jesus with purpose is going to the cross as the king that will save.


3 And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.”

This is a fascinating verse.  If anyone asks why, tell them the Lord needs it – is what Jesus says.  Jesus working with the disciples.  Working in their framework so that they understand does not tell them that this would happen, but tells them if it does tell them the Lord needs it.

This is the first time that Jesus refers to Himself as the Lord in the gospel of Mark.  The weight of the road to the cross is increasing.  The work of Christ is becoming less and less veiled to the disciples.  It is becoming more and more focused on Jesus as the Christ.  Jesus as the Messiah come.  Jesus as the savior.  Repent and believe.

This beast is needed for the work of the Lord.  It is needed for the triumphant entry of the King.  It is needed for the one who will be the atonement of sin for all who will believe.


4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they *untied it.

And now notice the detail.  The evidence that points to Peter being one of the two who go to collect the donkey.  They enter the city of Bethpage, remember just north of the road, and they find the donkey tied at the door and in the street.  Found as Jesus said it would be found.  Matthew adds that it is with its mother.  Perhaps a previous arrangement was made by Jesus but it seems highly unlikely.  Based on the way the story is laid out with the reference to the Lord it is likely one of God’s providence over the entirety demonstrating Jesus’ divinity.

Without a second thought they untie it to bring it back to Jesus.  All the details in this short verse, painting the picture of the donkey for the king.   The king that will conquer sin and death.  The only true king.


5 And some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”

6 And they told them just as Jesus had said, and they gave them permission.

And just as Jesus said, they are questioned by the owners (Luke 19:33).  Hey buddy, what are you doing?  That isn’t your donkey.  And they answer just as Jesus told them – the Lord has need of it.  And they were allowed to go.

Luke 19:33 (NASB)

33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

This points to God’s work, not a previous arrangement.  Had their been a previous arrangement they could have just reminded them of Jesus’ request.  Or they would have known the disciples.  But here it is a surprise to the owners that someone is taking their donkey.  Yet at the words that the Lord is in need of it they acquiesce.  Do they know who the Lord is?  Is there power in the mention of the name?  more then likely it is God’s work in them.


7 They *brought the colt to Jesus and *put their cloaks on it; and He sat on it.

The two and the donkey cross back down to Bethany.  Throwing cloaks on the donkey to protect it (there is no saddle) Jesus gets on the colt.  The first time we see this with Jesus.  The fulfillment of the prophecy of Gen 49:11 and Zech 9:9 (Zech written 500 years prior to the coming of Christ).  Riding on the donkey is seen as an action that shows that He is of the royal line of David.  The King is now mounted for entry into the city.

Genesis 49:11 (NASB)

11 He ties his foal to the vine,

And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;

He washes his garments in wine,

And his robes in the blood of grapes.

Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)

9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!

Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;

He is righteous and endowed with salvation,

Humble, and mounted on a donkey,

Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Not as a conquering king of which they would be familiar.  Not on a stallion adorned with armor and wreaths.  But a conqueror nonetheless.  The God/Man who defeats sin an death.  Mounted on a donkey, Jesus armor – the robe of a rabbi.  No sword in material fashion but a sword nonetheless – the word of God.


8 And many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.

Picture this.  Jesus is on the donkey in the city of Bethany.  2 miles east of Jerusalem.  Not only are the disciples there.  But the verse tells us many were there.  A great number of people.  They apparently know Him as Lord.  Or at least assume that Jesus is the conquering king.  Maybe, probably they think He is there to get rid of Rome.  To drive them out of Jerusalem and the surrounding area.  To remove the Jews form being under the thumb of Roman oppression.

They start laying cloaks and palms and branches on the road before Jesus.  We see the similar behavior when Jehu is installed as king – 2 Kings 9:13.  All signs that they see Him as a king.  This road that stretches to Jerusalem, lined with cloaks and palms.  Lining the road so that the path is smooth.

2 Kings 9:13 (NASB)

13 Then they hurried, and each man took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king!”

Turn to Mark 1:3 – make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight.  We see it happening here.  The onlookers have no idea what will happen.  And the disciples probably still don’t believe it.

Mark 1:3 (NASB)

3 The voice of one calling out in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

Make His paths straight!’”


9 And those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:“Hosanna!

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;

The shouts of Joy, Hosanna.  We and they know it as an exclamation of praise but it means, in the literal sense, ‘save now’ or ‘Save, I pray.’  Quoting out of Psalm 118:26 which was used during the Passover.  Jesus traveling as a sacrifice and they see Him as the king.  He is both.

Psalm 118:25-266 (NASB)

25 Please, O Lord, do save us;

Please, O Lord, do send prosperity!

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;

We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.

They desire salvation and but not what they need.  They want salvation from oppression, He is there to save from the oppression of sin and death.  He is the true savior, and true King.  One that will sit at the right hand of God the father for eternity.  The one who was, who is, and who will always be.


10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;

Hosanna in the highest!”

Blessed is the coming of the kingdom of our Father David.  A messianic statement.  Bartimaeus referred to Him as the son of David.  We now have the inauguration of the Kingdom of David.  Jesus fulfilling God’s command of Gen 3:15.  Jesus from the line of David.  The kingdom of David meant to last.  Look at 1 Samuel 13:14 where the statement is made that Saul’s kingdom will not endure, but David’s will.  David’s royal psalm about the Messiah, about Christ’s coming.

Genesis 3:15 (NASB)

15 And I will make enemies

Of you and the woman,

And of your offspring and her Descendant;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise Him on the heel.”

1 Samuel 13:11-14 (NASB)

11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Since I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come at the appointed time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash,

12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the Lord.’ So I worked up the courage and offered the burnt offering.”

13 But Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for the Lord would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

All these things point to the reveal of Jesus as the Messiah.  Not necessarily a complete reveal but one which the people are recognizing.  Palms and cloaks strewn upon the road to make clear His path.  The lead up to the holy city of Jerusalem where the temple is located.  It is a king who will be installed on His throne.  The crowd expects an immediate kingship to ensue.  One here on earth.  Christ’s throne will be on the only true throne, but it is not of this earth at this time.

He will bear the marks of the atonement and in 40 plus days after this coronation He will ascend to the only true throne.   Turn to Psalm 110.  The royal psalm of David about Jesus.  The enthronement of Christ.


11 And Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple area; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.

Think about this.  When he arrives in Jerusalem.  After the Hosannas.  After the praise.  After the joy that the crowds express.  He knows what lies ahead of Him.  He knows the way to the cross.  He knows that all the years of His incarnation have all pointed to this time.  He is not only a prophet.  He is not only the King.  But He is a priest.  He will be administering Himself as the sacrifice.  So upon arrival in the city the first and only thing He does that day is to look/examine the condition of His temple.  Remember this is His temple.  The temple of God.  He goes and looks at everything which probably means the outer courts.  All in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-2 – that the Lord will appear suddenly in His temple.

Malachi 3:1-2 (NASB)

The Purifier

1  “Behold, I am sending My messenger, and he will clear a way before Me. And the Lord, whom you are seeking, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of armies.

2 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderer’s soap.

It doesn’t tell us what He finds.  But we know how it ends.  And it will be covered in a few weeks.  The King has come to His temple to see its condition.  The first thing Jesus does in the city.  Jerusalem, the city of David.

The temple.  The place where priests administered to God.  That representation of God’s kingdom and that the people of Israel were to a holy nation, a kingdom of priests.  That other nations could look to them and see the work of God.  Seeing that things were different than what they knew outside of knowing the one true God.  the place where the sacrifices for the sin were administered.  Where atonement was made for the nation of Israel.  And this is what Jesus goes to see.  Before anything else.  The coronation parade takes Him right to the temple.  The place of sacrifice.

It was a seen of excitement.  Religious excitement at that.  Shouts of joy a roadway paved with palms and cloaks for the arriving king.  The one who will take away the oppression of the Roman empire.  Fervor and excitement.

Mark is showing/telling the church in Rome that Jesus is the Messiah

A church that is under the thumb of Roman oppression

A church that has seen the triumphal entry of emperor into the city

On a white stallion

In armor

To great fanfare

As conqueror

Christ enters as the true emperor

The true king

The true conqueror

On a donkey

The prince of peace

The one who satisfies the wrath of God against sin

The son of David

The righteous one

He enters via the Mount of Olives

The same place He will go and pray in just a few days

All of this is His coronation event

The event that shows Him as the Son of God

The answer to Hosanna

The savior

They honor Him as He enters the city

Yet by the end of the week they will be dishonoring Him

Jesus surveys His temple

He sees the condition that it is in

Are we consumed with the glory of God

Are we hurt when God is dishonored

Are we like David in Psalm 69:9?

For azeal for Your house has consumed me,

And bthe reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

Do we have zeal for Him?

Or have we just added Jesus to our lives?

Do we desire the things of God?

Or do we desire them if they don’t interfere with our lives?

Let us all be consumed with the idea of Hosanna

God save us!

Know that He has saved all who believe in Him as Lord, as Savior, As King!

Let us trust in Him

That He holds us

Let the Hosanna be shown in our everyday lives

Joyful and trusting in the hope that is found in the only true King

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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