John 12:12-19 : On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, “Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him. The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”
Jesus didn’t come to form a rebellion but to save people who believe. Many of the people in Israel were looking for a Messiah that would free Israel from the Roman occupation. Even the disciples brought it up:
Acts 1:6,7 : So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, at this time are You restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority.
It appears that the people, in the large, were looking for this kind of Jesus here. If this is the case, they were making a critical mistake. I mention this because there is evidence that, at this time, the Jews had attached special meaning to the waiving of palm branches. I learned about this from Ray Vander Laan (http://www.followtherabbi.com/) who has done quite a bit of study in this area.
Over at http://www.classicalcoins.com/page72.html I saw a picture of a coin. This coin had a picture of a palm branch on it. Some of the Jews in Israel decided to fight against the Romans and during that time this coin was created. There is a good chance that the gesture of raising palm branches to Jesus, although an act of support, was not only intended to welcome Him as their savior, but to welcome Him as a fighter for Israel.
Although it is true that Jesus is a fighter for Israel, at this time, Jesus didn’t come into town riding on a horse or chariot. He came on a baby donkey. It’s not that Jesus wasn’t tough. It’s just that it wasn’t time. He had a Commander that He wanted to obey. That is how it should be with all of us.
In his world, there are many political things that are worth fighting against. It is right to fight against evil in God’s power and not in our own strength and to do it according to His will. If we go God’s way we will be successful. If we don’t, we will suffer. The United States is very special in that our law makes “We The People” sovereign citizens. That gives us a responsibility to place and remove leaders using the processes that we set forth in our law. Sometimes that means we must speak out against things that are wrong just like we see that Jesus was doing. We are not to “tolerate” evil and should do what we can to oppose it. We are not to look for revenge, however, but seek to correct what is wrong in the power given to us by God.
Without the permission to take revenge, people mistreat us as Christians. It takes great strength to endure and the ones hurting Christians will end up in trouble with God if they don’t come to believe in Him.
Jesus will destroy evil. It says in Revelation that He will do it with the sword of His mouth (Revelation 19:15). The mouth of God created man, and it is quite capable of destroying evil. The Bible says, that’s why evil was made (Proverbs 16:4, Romans 9:22). We, however, are to obey Him and keep ourselves from corruption which is our primary duty (Titus 2:11-13). Through prayer, we can fight for the souls of others because it is God who can change people’s minds.
Israel’s history in the Bible tells us what happened to them when they were not careful seek the Lord. People would die in wars or go through bad economic times (called famines back then). That is ultimately what happened to the ones who made the coin. A few years later, Israel was crushed and were to be scattered until 1948. We shouldn’t forget that Jesus is the Resurrector and is quite capable of bringing Israel back no matter how unusual it might seem.