Palm Sunday is recorded in the four Gospels. (Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19).

In each account as written by the writer we notice the reaction of Jesus and the reaction of the people.  For the people it was an exciting day, it was a day of possible deliverance, a day when Roman rule would end and Jesus would set up His earthly kingdom.  For Jesus on the other hand it was a day of fulfilling a week that would eventually lead to His death and resurrection.

Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem was planned out for a long time. Not just the months of travel – but the events of Passion Week were planned out before the world was created. Jesus is the “Lamb who was slain at the foundation of the world.”

There were hints placed throughout scripture. Prophets spoke of this week – possibly unknowingly – but with great detail. And the prophecies will be fulfilled in amazing detail. A Saviour is coming to town. But what does that mean for those people on hand to witness the event? What does it mean to you?

Mark 11:1-10

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of His disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”  They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, He sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed 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 heaven!”

Today is Palm Sunday and the realities are we are forced to stay home.  We are not gathering together in worship at a building but through media and other resources we have gathered together in spirit.  This passage of scripture reminds me that:

The crowds welcomed Jesus on the way to Jerusalem with palms and branches as one would a king.  But this king was riding on a donkey.  Anybody could have said, “That’s no king or anybody of any consequence, riding on a donkey like that with a bunch of screaming kids following him.”  Actually, the Master was making His way to Jerusalem, where He would soon suffer and die on the cross.  He was fulfilling His role as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, as John the Baptist had proclaimed.  God, in His love for humanity- in His love for you and me- provided us with a lamb. This had been foreshadowed in the story of Abraham, who had been told by God to sacrifice his only son. Isaac was the son of promise and Abraham had the faith to believe that God himself would provide the lamb for sacrifice; and indeed God did provide a ram in the thicket as a sacrifice that day.  And now here was the Lamb of God provided by the Father, not a ram in the thicket, not a sacrifice that would have to be offered again and again, but as a sacrifice once and for all, paying the debt that you and I owed, carrying every sin that we would ever commit.

But God didn’t just provide us with a lamb. He knew that we also needed a king to rule over us, and that’s the significance of the palms and the cries of “Hosanna” with which the people and the children greeted him.  You may say, “I don’t want to be ruled by anyone.”  You don’t realize that you already are controlled by someone or something.  That’s because everyone is ruled by something.  For some it may be a habit or hatred or jealousy or prejudice or a bad temper or unforgiveness.  Jesus came not only to take care of our past sins, but to be lord and king over us, enabling us to live an abundant life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Some may want Him as a sacrifice for their sins, but then they want to live any way they want; they want to rule over their own lives.  It doesn’t work that way.  He has to be not only Lamb, but King and Lord of all.

This Palm Sunday, let’s thank God that Jesus is not only our sacrificial lamb, but also our King.  And as we remember the crowds that spread their cloaks before the Lamb of God who came in humility, let’s present to our King our very lives as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him, which is our reasonable service.  And let’s rejoice in Him today, shouting, “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

 

Let me leave you with this Song and Prayer:

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! Hail Him! highest archangels in glory,
Strength and honour give to His holy name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long.

 

Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness;
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful Song.

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered and bled and died;
He, our rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified!
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

 

Praise Him! praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!
Heavenly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever,
Crown Him!  crown Him!
Prophet and Priest and King!
Christ is coming, over the world victorious;
Power and glory unto the Lord belong.

                              Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)

 

Thank you for sending your Son and paving the way for our lives to be set free through Jesus’ death on the cross. Thank you for what this day stands for – the beginning of Holy Week, the start of the journey towards the power of the cross, the victory of the Resurrection, and the rich truth that Jesus truly is our King of Kings.

“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…”

We give You praise and honour for Your ways are righteous and true. We give You worship for You are holy and just. We will declare that Your love stands firm forever. For Your loving kindness endures forever.

Thank you that Your ways are far greater than our ways, Your thoughts far deeper than our thoughts. Thank you that You had a plan to redeem. Thank you that You make all things new. Thank you that Your face is towards the righteous, and You hear our prayers, and know our hearts. Help us to stay strong and true to You. Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to You, to hear Your whispers, and seek after You alone.

We praise You, we bless You Lord! Thank you that You reign supreme and we are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ!

In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.

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