Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the
of Jesus into Jerusalem, one week before His resurrection.
Palm Sunday began with Jesus and His disciples traveling over the
Mount of Olives
. The Lord sent two disciples ahead into the village of Bethphage to find an animal to ride. They found the unbroken colt of a donkey, just as Jesus had said they would (
). “They brought [the donkey] to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it” (
As Jesus ascended toward Jerusalem, a large multitude gathered around Him. This crowd understood that Jesus was the Messiah; what they did not understand was that it wasn’t time to set up the kingdom yet—although Jesus had tried to tell them so (
The crowd’s actions along the road give rise to the name “Palm Sunday”: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” (
). In strewing their cloaks on the road, the people were giving Jesus the royal treatment—King Jehu was given similar honor at his coronation (
2 Kings 9:13
). John records the detail that the branches they cut were from palm trees (
On that first Palm Sunday, the people also honored Jesus verbally: “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ / ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ / ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (
). In their praise of Jesus, the Jewish crowds were quoting
, an acknowledged prophecy of the Christ. The allusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment from the religious leaders present: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” (
). However, Jesus saw no need to rebuke those who told the truth. He replied, “I tell you . . . if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (
Some 450 to 500 years prior to Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, the prophet Zechariah had prophesied the event we now call Palm Sunday: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! / Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! / See, your king comes to you, / righteous and victorious, / lowly and riding on a donkey, / on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (
The prophecy was fulfilled in every particular, and it was indeed a time of rejoicing, as Jerusalem welcomed their King.
Unfortunately, the celebration was not to last
The crowds looked for a Messiah who would rescue them
and free them
, but Jesus had come to save them
. First things first, and mankind’s primary need is spiritual, not political, cultural, or national salvation.
Even as the coatless multitudes waved the palm branches and shouted for joy, they missed the true reason for Jesus’ presence. They could neither see nor understand the cross. That’s why, “as [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies . . . will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (
). It is a tragic thing to see the Savior but not recognize Him for who He is. The crowds who were crying out “
” on Palm Sunday were crying out “Crucify Him!” later that week (
As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost (
), and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often called “
,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.
: My application comes from a devotional thought about what Palm Sunday might mean to us.
You see, Jesus had a Destiny!
It was His Destiny that was shrouded with Difficulty!
But it was Difficulty shrouded in a Destiny, which served a Purpose!
: For Humanity Jesus triumphal entry was the first step (OF WHICH HE WAS AWARE) that would be the last week of His ultimate destiny and purpose….all for our Sakes!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy
awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
: My devotional / applicational / pragmatic for us brings me to this.
: As believers, we too have a race to run, a race to finish and a purpose to fulfill that will come with all sorts of difficulties!
When we decide to follow Jesus as believers, our journey and decisions might lead to things like….
: When the disciples heard and received the invitation to follow Jesus, they really didn’t know what that meant or where and what that would lead them too!
In Psalm 23 we find a ‘Good Shepherd’ who will, vr. 4, “even though I walk through the (a) valley of death,” will
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