As we get closer to Holy Week (beginning this coming Sunday [March 20] and ending on Easter Day, Sunday, March 27, 2016, let us turn our thoughts towards the final week of Jesus’ ministry on earth—beginning with His entry into Jerusalem on what Christians call Palm Sunday.
What do you suppose it would have been like to have been in the crowd exclaiming “Hosanna! …Hosanna in the highest!” waving a palm branch, celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem?
Where would you have been?
What would you have been doing?
The excitement of the crowd must have been electric. People cheering for Jesus, their King, fulfilling prophecy declared hundreds of years before (they likely did not realize the meaning of their actions). Children running about, laughing, enjoying life—some would have memories of Jesus interacting with them, loving on them.
Here’s a hymn that reflects on this day, Hosanna, Loud Hosanna!
However, not all were happy with this celebratory time. The loudest voices crying out against this were many of the religious elite—scribes and Pharisees. Due to how Jesus presented Himself and the things He did caused them to reject Him out of hand and seek a way, any way to kill Him. Jesus did not do what they expected Him to do—to bring to an end the rule of the Romans.
During the week to come Jesus (and His disciples) would face unbelievable pain and suffering—physical, emotional, spiritual—culminating in Jesus’ death on a cross and His resurrection three days later. The week that started out so cheerfully and vibrantly on Sunday, ends in deep darkness, horror, and solemnity on Friday. The most exciting news is yet to come!
Palm Sunday was the high point of Jesus’ ministry (the one time He was popular), while celebrating the significance of this day in Jesus’ ministry, may we reflectively prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Easter. This day also fulfilled a prophecy from Zechariah 9:9.
Dear Jesus, with the crowd that welcomed You into Jerusalem, we lift our voices to praise You. We remember the joy of this day, while remembering the pain and horror yet to come—followed by Your victory over death, sin, and the grave that is coming. Thank You for all that You did for us, while we were yet sinners. Cause us to remember all that You did for us, because of Your deep love for us. In Your name, we pray. Amen
From My Heart to Yours,