HOLY WEEK — Triumphant Entry — Palm Sunday

Click here to read John 12:12-19 for today’s reading

May God RICHLY bless you on the GLORIOUS day of remembrance and celebration!! 🙂

Pretend for just a moment that YOU were one of the MANY who witnessed Jesus, the Messianic KING of Israel ride into HIS capital city of Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey.  The donkey was covered with the cloaks of the disciples, the road was covered with palms and more cloaks of the multitudes, and you are waving palms at HIM shouting “HOSANNA, BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.”  The waving of psalms was done when a king entered a village.  This was their way of revering the kings as they strolled through the streets. The spreading of cloaks was an act of homage for royalty (see 2 Kings 9:13).  Jesus has told his disciples they no longer had to be quiet about HIM (Matthew 12:16, 16:20), and it was OK for them to SHOUT HIS praises and worship HIM openly.  Understand that the multitudes who gathered were everyday people, country people, city people, shepherds, fishermen, business men, … not the royalty of the day … just everyday people.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that JESUS came for ALL people … regardless of title, occupation, race, sex, income, possessions, lack, health, beauty, etc.,  …. ANY AND ALL … ALL who would believe in HIM.

My heart sinks both with great joy and deep sadness as I read this.  What great joy it would have been to SEE HIM. However, the SAME people who are singing and shouting HIS praise are the SAME people who will soon shout “CRUCIFY HIM!”  My heart and my eyes fill with tears as I write this as I visualize this day 2000 years ago!

Today is the day we celebrate the TRIUMPHAL ENTRY of Jesus into Jerusalem, we call it Palm Sunday.  It is the Sunday before the crucifixion.  THE TIME HAD COME for HIM to “GO PUBLIC”.  THE time was closing in for the day they would BRUTALLY kill Him, hang HIM on a cross, and STAB HIM in HIS side.   AND the time was near when HE WOULD RISE FROM THE DEAD!!!  HOSANNA! HOSANNA! HOSANNA!! Hosanna is an expression of adoration, praise, and/or joy.  It also signifies SALVATION!!  Take a look at Psalms 118:25-26:

When I was young, I LOVED this time of year.  I LOVED the celebration of Palm Sunday.  It was a very special time in our home with tremendous focus on Jesus Christ.  I grew up Catholic.  We each received a fresh green palm leaf to remind us of the day.  My Grandmother kept hers “whole” and placed it behind a picture she had on the wall beside her chair of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.  My parents and I made ours into a cross and placed it in our Bibles.  It was there year round, first bright green and eventually dried out and brown, until the next Palm Sunday we would receive a fresh palm. I have been in masses and in other Christian churches where a person would ride into the church on a donkey with palms scattered on the floor, NOT because they were placing themselves in the authority of Jesus, or thought they were HIM …. SIMPLY allow the congregation to have a visual image of what that day may have really looked like.  I can tell you…. it is an image that has remained within my heart for years!!

We would sing a song like this: Hosannah, Blessed is HE who come in the name of the Lord

Here are a few things to think about in today’s reading:

  • Why was there a great crowd?  KEEP IN MIND GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT!!  HE WANTED FOR THE CROWD TO SEE HIS SON …. TO BE THERE TO WITNESS WHAT WAS TO COME!!  The Passover was their biggest holiday of the year and it was approaching quickly!  People …. MULTITUDES were coming to Jerusalem for many reasons. The Jewish people came for the Temple offerings.  Gentiles would come for money and business opportunities!  (No matter what era we are in … people are always looking for ways to make money … some things never change.. look at our current holidays!).  BUT Look how God will use that (even now).  THINK about HOW many MORE people will witness the death of Christ because of THIS PERFECT TIMING… HIS PERFECT TIMING.  AND the spreading of the Gospel will be exponential because of the crowds!
  • Hosanna! “We are rejoicing, we are adoring you, we are praising you, and yes … we are praying for you to save us”!!  KEEP in mind that the praise being lavished upon HIM was NOT because they recognized HIM as their Messiah.  They WANTED HIM to be their earthly king, their earthly deliverer, someone who would lead a revolt against Rome.  What they were praising HIM for was for a temporary solution .. a solution for THEM.  BUT LOOK HOW GREAT OUR GOD IS….. HE thought WAY beyond that moment.  HE thought about YOU AND ME!!  HE was sending a REDEEMER, a DELIVERER, a KING … for EACH OF US.. to infinity and beyond each of us … HE was sending the ETERNAL, forever and always … KING OF KING AND LORD OF LORDS who would be ALL we would EVER need IF WE BELIEVE.  Don’t we all look for the temporary solutions … when God wants to provide the permanent, never changing, EVER lasting solution for ALL.  AHHHHHHHH!!!!! 🙂
  • Take a moment to look up Zechariah 9:9 in the Old Testament.  THIS is the PROPHESY that was fulfilled when Jesus rode in on the donkey!!!
  • The Triumphal Entry is one of the few incidents in the life of JESUS that appears in all four Gospel accounts: Matthew 21:1-17, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-40; and John 12:12-19.  I know I have mentioned this before, but I have been told in church when God says something in Scripture 3 times … it is very important!!  LOOK HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS… the STORY TOLD 4 TIMES!!!  It was a significant day in the lifetimes of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John….. and IT IS STILL SIGNIFICANT TODAY!!!  The TRUE never ending story!!
  • Jesus knows they think He is coming to be king who will make them a nation again!  A Warrior! (and HE IS …. just not in the way they can imagine)
  • If you read further you will see Jesus quotes Isaiah.
  • And if you read a little further you will see that Jesus returns to Bethany where the Jews have no jurisdiction to arrest him.  It is NOT time yet.

I pray that EACH of you reading this today … are touched deeply .. in a way you have never been touched in your heart as ONLY Jesus Christ can do through HIS Word.  EXPECT GREAT THINGS!!

Holy Week palmsunday2



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