The events leading to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are detailed in the Scripture and have great significance. This week I am pondering the events of Holy Week.
Today is Palm Sunday … the first day of Holy Week. Historical records say that people began celebrating Holy Week in the 4th century.
What is the significance of Palm Sunday?
We celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
But why do we call it a “triumphal entry?”
Jesus’ disciples, along with the crowd in the road going to Jerusalem, hailed Jesus as the coming King – from the lineage of David. They shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” So this procession into Jerusalem was triumphal according to the praises of the people.
Why did Jesus ride in on a donkey?
The Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, wrote: Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! 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. ” So when Jesus requested the donkey, rode into Jerusalem, the people mostly likely recognized the fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures causing them to hail Jesus as the coming King.
How did the people know to gather on this day?
The Scripture doesn’t record Jesus annoucing his arrival at any of the places where people gathered to see him. Instead most often, the people had seen or heard of his miracles and sought him out. That’s what the Scripture says about this gathering. The people had heard about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and that’s why they met him on this road. It’s also important to note that the Feast of Passover was coming up and so many people would be on the road to Jerusalem for the celebration.
And pastor, what is the spiritual significance for us today?
Jesus was (is) the coming King … the people recorded in Scripture misunderstood his kingdom … they were looking for a political king. Instead, Jesus was establishing his eternal kingdom … and today he wants us to acknowledge his lordship in our lives.
… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord …
Go forth to the Mount; bring the olive-branch home,
And rejoice; for the day of our freedom is come!
From that time, when the moon upon Ajalon’s vale,
Looking motionless down, saw the kings of the earth,
In the presence of God’s mighty champion grow pale–
Oh, never had Judah an hour of such mirth!
Go forth to the Mount–bring the olive-branch home,
And rejoice, for the day of our freedom is come!