Have you ever wondered why all the folks were waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey? There are tons of reasons deeply embedded in Israel (e.g., is this the long-awaited rescuer who will free us at last)? But there are significantly more practical reasons for the flash mob. It was Passover – so there were people (and sacrificial animals) everywhere! But the Passover crowd was just the mechanism that spread the real reason. People flocked to Jesus because they had heard that he raised Lazarus from the dead.
You see, his friend John tells us, “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.” Put another way, people were spreading the news about Jesus – they were testifying about the amazing things he was doing.
Think about it – the reason people were coming to Jesus was that the witnesses (the testifiers) were telling other people the miraculous things he was doing. Simple, right? Right. Who are the testifiers today? The Church! The practice of testimony is a key element in helping folks see the power and “aliveness” of Jesus today. He is alive – he is at work – he is still doing amazing things.