On Palm Sunday we remember Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem with the crowd waving palms and shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The events of that day, however, should be so much more for us than expressions of praise.
Upon deeper reflection of that day, we discover that Palm Sunday is . . .
. . fulfillment of prophecy
The procession fulfilled one of many events predicted in the Old Testament. The prophet Zechariah said, “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” (Zech. 9:9).
Certainly fulfillment of prophecy should lead to belief that Jesus is who He says He is.
. . hope for a deliverer
While “hosanna” has become a word representing praise, it started out as a word depicting prayer, specifically a plea for salvation or deliverance … save us! The people of Jesus’ day got it right that the Messiah would come as King but missed that it would be during His second coming. First Jesus would come to suffer and die as Savior to deliver us from the penalty of sin.
Hosanna can turn into maranatha for us … as He is yet to come as reigning King to deliver from the presence of sin.
. . more than a procession on the road to Jerusalem
The waving of palms on His way to Jerusalem wasn’t the only thing Jesus did on that day. We also see Him in the temple overturning tables (Matt. 21:12-13) and healing of blind and lame (Matt. 21:14). The One who came “gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Matt. 21:5) went from gentle and mild to demonstrating righteous and holy indignation to being a compassionate and powerful healer.
This should be a reminder to see Jesus for the whole of who He is, not just the “feel good” part.
. . a lesson from children
While we do not read of adults continuing on in praise, we do read of the children “shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matt. 21:15-16). Perhaps the adults were too intimidated by the religious leaders. Scripture doesn’t say. Children were undoubtedly part of the crowd, hearing and imitating. In their innocence they kept praising, not afraid of the religious leaders. Jesus responded with a quote from Psalm 8:2 – “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.”
The Palm Sunday and Easter holidays will come to an end. Will you continue praising Jesus after the holiday season?
. . time for a heart check-up
The crowds reacted positively on the road to Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-9) and the whole city was stirred (Matt. 21:10). While they may not have been sure what to make of it, they knew something was happening as seen in the Greek word used for “stirred” from which we get the English word “seismic”. The events on what we call Palm Sunday shook the people to the core. The religious leaders, however, demonstrated displeasure and indignation (Matt. 21:15-16).
Let this day be a time of reflection on your own heart’s condition. How do you really feel about Jesus? What do you really believe about Jesus?