Have you ever wondered why Christians celebrate Palm Sunday?
Here is the scene: In Matthew 21, we read about Jesus making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He comes in riding on a donkey, as prophesied by Zechariah. He is greeted by crowds celebrating Him. Some of the people put their cloaks in the street and others put out palm branches—both were signs of welcoming the humble King. The crowd is shouting, “Hosanna in the highest!” (Hosanna means “Save, we pray.”)
Less than a week later, the crowds chose to release the prisoner Barabbas and demanded Jesus be crucified (Matthew 27:15-23). For a number of reasons (ultimately, God’s own purpose), Jesus was not living up to Israel’s expectations. Not only was He not appearing to be a strong military leader, He was even making claims to be God. “Blasphemy!” they cried—and killed Him. They wanted a King to deliver them from Gentile rule—the same way King David had defeated the Philistines.
Sadly, many people seem to think the same way today: “If God won’t give me what I want, He’s dead to me.” God’s plan for the Messiah is much greater than giving people what they want. Jesus did much more than die. He rose from the grave and will bring all of those who believe in Him to the Father!
As the story-line of the Bible progresses, we see the same kind of “triumphal entry” language in Revelation. John says:
After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” – Rev. 7:9-10
As we celebrate the weeks leading up to the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, I urge you to remember Jesus Christ will come again.
In the meantime, His followers should be walking in fellowship with Him, studying His Word, and telling everyone of His Gospel. This is the mission He has given us, and we want to be found faithful upon His return. As we walk with Him, our love and knowledge of Him will grow. As we study His Word, we learn first and foremost about the Godhead. It is vital we commit to His Word. We must know God as He presents Himself, lest we craft God by our own desires or thoughts. Then in turn, we learn who we are and what our role is in this life. As we share His Gospel, He brings His children in by grace and they will join us as we cry out together, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”