Palm Sunday – 3 Things it Tells Us About Jesus

They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Matt 21:7-11

What Is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is celebrated the Sunday before Easter Sunday, and is the day in the Church calendar when we reflect on this event in the life of Jesus, and prepare ourselves for the next week – Holy Week. Here we continue to celebrate different events that happened in the last week of Jesus’ life, but palm

Here are Three Things That Palm Sunday Tells Us About Jesus.

1. Jesus is Lord

Here is the earliest Christian confession, embodied by Jesus. The ‘Triumphant Entry’ is recorded in all 4 Gospels, but here we see that Matthew takes pains to inform us that this was in fulfilment of a particular prophecy:

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

Jesus is king! Now in an ancient culture like the Hebrew one, a king had absolute authority, and he was able to rule as he would. The passage above is talking about the Messiah the ruler that the Jews had hoped for, the one who would free them from the rule of Rome, who would lead them back to being the people of God. Jesus is telling us here that is who He is. He is the one the world has been waiting for, He is the one who rules, the one who is Lord, the ultimate authority, but He is not entering as a warrior, rather:

2. Jesus is Prince of Peace

One of the things about this passage that I have often overlooked, is the most important thing about it: Jesus came riding on a donkey. I always thought that this was simply because He couldn’t find a horse, or horses were too expensive to buy, so not many people had them lying around, and if they did they certainly would not lend them out to random strangers! So he got the next best thing – a donkey, a beast of burden.

The thing is though, that in the Ancient Near Eastern cultures, donkey’s had a very specific role. If you are a king – as Jesus is – and you were riding into a city, you could let the city know what your intentions were, simply by the mode of transportation that you selected. If you arrived with your army on a horse, people knew you meant business, and there was going to be a fight, but if you arrived on a donkey people immediately  knew that your intentions were peaceful. Here Jesus is embodying the title given to him in Isaiah ‘Prince of Peace’ He is saying that He is not here to start a war, rather, He has come to bring peace, to bring wholeness and restoration, that is His mission, and a week later, He accomplished that by dying on the Cross.

3. Jesus is Triumphant

We often for get that the Israel was an occupied place at that time, it was controlled by the Romans, and they would have been observing all of this. They probably would have had the garrison out because it was a religious festival, and the right kind of atmosphere to start trouble. A crowd like this certainly would have drawn attention from the Romans, and what would they have thought as they watched on?

Well, this sort of celebration was very similar to the triumphus the Roman celebration of a great military victory in which the conquering commander would take off his armour, get off his horse, put on civilian clothes, sit on a donkey and be led into the city with people cheering for him. This is what they would have seen, Jesus as a victorious king entering the city in celebration. And we know that this was a prophetic act, Jesus is victorious, He sits now in victory over Satan, sin, death, all of the powers of this world.

As you go about this week, remember that the God you worship is Lord, He is the Prince of Peace, and He is Victorious, and, as Easter approaches, you are His.

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