When I was a little girl, Palm Sunday was one of my favorite occasions. Our church was decorated with green potted palms. Our children’s choir sang. It was wonderfully happy. “Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang.”
I suspect our Palm Sunday in an elaborate church with stained glass windows looked nothing like the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem, but we welcomed Him. We praised Him. It was a celebration that culminated the next Sunday with the Resurrection.
So much could be said about all the happenings on that first Palm Sunday, but I want to limit my thoughts to the triumphal entry itself.
Jesus sat on a donkey colt. I have always wondered why. I’ve read that kings rode donkeys in those days, but other biblical accounts don’t have kings on horseback or mules or donkeys at all. They are almost always in a chariot, pulled by horses. So, I am not sure about this.
People put their clothing on the donkey for Jesus to sit on and in the way—to make a clean road for Him. This speaks of the willingness to serve, sacrifice, and loving Jesus. Others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way (Mark 11:8b). It was a symbol of honor.
Multitudes—one wonders how many—went before Jesus and followed saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9).
And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out (Luke 19:37-40).
What an occasion!
The multitude introduced Jesus as the Messiah when they called Him “King” and “son of David.” Even the phrases “peace in heaven” and “glory in the highest” remind us of the angel’s message at His birth.
The religious rulers were not happy with this message. It went against their own ideas. They didn’t want to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
But Jesus replied, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Can you imagine? This message was so important that even dumb, inanimate rocks would be able to speak if Jesus quieted the people.
Hosanna to the Son of David.
As Jesus gets close to Jerusalem, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
Jerusalem—the central city in all of the Bible. It will be the city where the end time prophecies occur and the city that’s completely re-created to be the permanent home for believers. The New Jerusalem with its rainbow-hued foundations, pearl doors, and beauty like nothing we can imagine, where Jesus Himself is the light, and where Hosannas will be sung forever and ever.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:1-4).
So, Jesus’ ride on Palm Sunday was introducing Him as Messiah.
Hosanna in the highest!
Photo courtesy of www.lumoproject.com.