Palm Sunday

Today on many church calendars Palm Sunday is celebrated. Palm Sunday is a celebration remembering Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem. The following verses should help to remind us of this event: The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, ”Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15 NIV 2011) So, here we see how Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was received. He was received with shouts of “Hosanna” (meaning ‘praise the LORD’ and ‘save us LORD’). When the people were saying “Hosanna” they were actually praising Jesus for the salvation he was bringing. And their praises or their hosannas were very much elated ones at that. Jesus was being praised to the highest. Both Matthew and Mark record the great crowd as also saying “Hosanna in the Highest” (just as we too do, in the words of our Lord’s Supper service). Jesus was also greeted with palm branches. Palm branches were used as an emblem of victory. It seems that what was going on here with the hosannas and the palm branches was that the people were praising Jesus for the salvation he was bringing, and hopefully a victorious one at that! The crowd was hailing him as their victorious King, a King who they thought, was entering Jerusalem to take his place on the throne. Little did they know this King’s place of victory was to be a very different throne. It was to be a rough timbered cross. I have said many times now: some church traditions are either not relevant today, not helpful, or not biblical. But what about Palm Sunday? Have a look at this verse; it’s a revelation of what is to come: After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9 NIV 2011) Has Palm Sunday had its day? No. If anything, its real day is still to come. While we wait for that day to arrive, let’s get used to holding those branches and shouting hosannas to the one who has brought us salvation and is seated on the throne!                                                                                                    

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