Many pastors use Palm Sunday to preach that the same fickle people who shouted "Hosanna!" on Palm Sunday shouted "Crucify Him!" on Good Friday. How fickle are the crowds! It preaches well; however, there is contextual evidence that strongly suggests, and even helps us to conclude, that these two groups were not the same people.
I hate it when pastors are snobby about these kinds of things. Why would I want to take away such a longstanding Palm Sunday tradition of feeling good about how non-fickle we are compared to how fickle the crowds (and other people of course) that crucified Jesus were? Because as always, the little details in Scripture are rich and life-changing.
Those who were shouting "Crucify him!" were comprised of the elders, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests, and recruited "false witnesses", while those shouting "Hosanna!" were those who placed their hope in Jesus...namely, the sick, the lame, the blind (Matthew 21:14), and simply "the people" (26:5), who were collectively called (and this is big evidence) the "Daughter of Zion" (21:5). Hosanna means “Save us!” These were people who truly encountered the real Jesus and turned to him for salvation. These people bowed before King Jesus and trusted in him for their salvation!
Couldn’t they have changed their minds a few days later?
Those who truly encounter the real Jesus and turn to him for salvation never look back. Our problem is that statement doesn't seem believable in today's world. Why? Because we hear story after story of young people who grow up in the church only to "leave the faith" when they go to college. In fact, we hear of people of all ages leaving the faith after seeming to be religious. How can this be? Because they didn't truly encounter the real Jesus and turn to him for salvation. Many times when those who have left the faith share with me what they had been taught and believed about Jesus I tell them that I wouldn't follow that false version of Jesus either!
Use this Holy Week, a Holy Week like none we have ever experienced due to the Coronavirus, to truly encounter the real Jesus. Once he has saved you and inscribed you in the palm of his hand you won't ever leave, not because of your strong faith, but because he will never let go of you. Have you truly encountered the real King Jesus and turned to him for salvation?