Today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. This celebrates the day Jesus triumphantly entered the city of Jerusalem. It marks one week before Easter. Here in Southern Indiana Palm Sunday can be a beautiful sunny day or it can be cold and snowy. The weather is very unpredictable. What isn’t unpredictable and remains unchanged is the Palm Sunday message. “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:12-13.
Scripture tells us that Jesus rode into the city on a young donkey. The streets were lined with people who threw clothes and palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage and respect. This was what people did for kings. They treated Jesus like royalty. Using palm branches symbolized peace and victory. Jesus came in peace, triumphantly. The crowd of people shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
This was foretold in the Old Testament Zechariah 9:9, “Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Historically horses were ridden during times of war, rulers rode donkeys during times of peace as a sign of humility toward the people. Old Testament prophets spoke of the coming Messiah.
Can you imagine what it was like to be in that crowd? Jesus had come to save the lost, to secure their eternal life and salvation. He was the Messiah, long awaited. Hearts must have been beating wildly at the anticipation of seeing Him. Thoughts were surely running all over wondering what to do – stand, bow, wave, kneel. Did tears fill many eyes? My eyes get glassy thinking about it.
How amazing it must have been to see Jesus, God’s Son. He was the one that raised the dead back to life and healed the sick. He was the teacher that many spoke of so highly. Jesus changed lives. He taught love. He was love.
What would we have done in that crowd? Maybe try to touch his robe or hand? Would we be brave enough to make eye contact with Him? Perhaps His presence would mesmerize us. How blessed those people were to be in that crowd. Did they know that He was the Lamb of God?
This week we will take a walk through what happened on the very first Holy Week. Today, rejoice. Lift up your voices and sing: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Imagine yourself in Jerusalem then. Are you waving palms or putting them on the streets? Are you praising Him? Let’s remember to do it today.