Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. It begins Holy Week. Holy week is called that for the events that transpired in Jesus’ last week on Earth. As the days of Lent draw close to the Passion Week, we reflect more and more on what Christ has done and is doing for us.
Palm Sunday is the day that we remember and celebrate when Jesus entered Jerusalem. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town, a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches or their cloaks on the road to welcome Him as Savior and King.
In Bible times, kings rode on donkeys. This was another sign of who He is. That He is The King!
“And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:9, ESV)
When the people shouted “Hosanna” they were hailing Christ as King. That word means “save now.” Knowing that many of them would turn against Him in a few days must have been bittersweet for Him. He had set His face to come to Jerusalem and the task before Him.
“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42, ESV)
The Bible cites His entrance in several places, such as:
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.’” (Matthew 21:1-11, ESV)
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9, ESV)
“The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’ His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 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. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.’” (John 12:12-19, ESV)
Palm Sunday reminds us that the reign of Christ is far greater than any man’s mind could ever conceive. We are set free of death, because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” (John 11:25, ESV)
Just like today, the people did not realize that they needed the Savior. They did not know or perhaps want to know that they would be forever in their sins and ultimately in Hell without Christ.
Our testimony, as believers, is simple. We tell others that we were lost in our sins and then Jesus reached out to us through His Spirit. We received Him as our Savior. We tell them that we are forever transformed, not perfect, but a work in progress. We share that our daily prayer is to be more like Jesus. It is not called ‘amazing grace’ without reason!
Spiritual Life Director
Palm Sunday, the calm before the storm. Thank you for presenting this part of Easter so well.