Palm Sunday: Behold Thy King Cometh!
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zachariah 9:9)
Palm Sunday is also referred to as Passion Sunday. This is the Sunday prior to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Jesus entered into Jerusalem knowing that his mission here on earth was coming to an end and that he would die in Jerusalem. This event marked the public affirmation by Jesus that He IS the messiah, King of Israel promised in Zachariah. This occurrence is one of the few stories that appear in all four gospels.
Jesus sent two of his disciples into the city to get a donkey that had never been ridden. He entered Jerusalem on this colt to purposely fulfill the prophecy of the Old Testament. “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,” (Matthew 21:4) Jesus wanted his disciples to understand what he was doing and what it meant. He was openly declaring himself the promised One of Jehovah. Jesus wants us all to know, that he did fulfill all of the Law and Prophecy, and to have no doubt that he is the way of Salvation.
Jesus declared through this fulfilling of the prophecy that he is the Way to salvation. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7). According to all the accounts, Jesus rode into Jerusalem and a great multitude of people met him, laying palm branches and cloaks on the ground in from of him. They declared him as the Son of David, the King of Israel. They cried out Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna is a Greek translation that is a derivative of two words combined, this essentially means, “Save Us Now”. This was a shout of praise for deliverance. We could say, “Praise you, Son of David for Deliverance!” What the people, and even his disciples did not understand was that he came to deliver salvation from sin, not to fight the Romans.
He came humbly riding on a donkey. Not riding on a horse. In ancient times when a king entered a city on a donkey it meant he was coming in peace, not as a conqueror. Even though Jesus had told his disciples in advance that he must go to Jerusalem, and that he must die, and that he would rise again, they did not see the significance of this triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We can look at this and celebrate, and thank Him for such an open declaration. He boldly declared that He is the messiah, the salvation of man, the redeemer of creation.
He was born of a virgin. He was from Bethlehem. He was called out of Egypt. He did enter Jerusalem on a Donkey. He did not hide himself from us. He did suffer and die. He did arise from the grave. He will return again. He will establish His kingdom in Jerusalem. Hosanna in the Highest!