All four of the gospel writers mention the event in the life of Jesus when the multitudes celebrated him as their king. They did all this, as Matthew wrote, to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet.
Zechariah was that prophet. He was the one who prophesied that these events would take place in Jerusalem. He told Jerusalem to:
“Rejoice greatly . . . behold thy King cometh unto thee.” But he would not come riding on a white horse, according to the prophecy. He would come in lowliness, riding on a donkey. (Zech. 9:9)
We read in Matthew 21:9 that the multitudes that went ahead of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem, and those who followed after him, cried out, saying “Hosanna.” That word is taken from Psalm 118:25, where it says: “Save now.”
The people of Jerusalem wanted a king who would save them from the Romans so they would be free at last. When they found out that Jesus came “to save that which was lost,” they rejected him.
Many of those who cried out, “Hosanna in the highest,” later cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him” (Luke 23:21). It was those who:
“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him” (John 12:13), who later rejected him as their Messiah and Savior.