I love Palm Sunday. I love making palm crosses, palm decorations. And I love the message of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
So what is this Palm Sunday? And what is the significance of this day?
Towards the end of Christ’s time on the earth, just before he was crucified on the cross, on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a borrowed donkey’s colt. A vast crowd followed him – this was just before the Passover and every Israelite was expected to participate in this annual festival in Jerusalem, so the city was likely to be brimming with Israelites. They spread their cloaks and tree branches on the road and shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ (Matthew 21:9).
The significance of this event is that, for the first time during his 3-year ministry, Jesus publicly declared to the people that he was their King, their Messiah for whom they had been waiting for a long time. People spread their cloaks on the ground as a sign of homage to royalty. When the chief priests asked Jesus to keep his disciples quiet, he replied ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ (Luke 19:40).
Unfortunately, the same people who were praising him on Palm Sunday, when they realized that Jesus was not the kind of King they were expecting, turned on him and had him arrested and crucified. They had wanted a Messiah who would deliver them from the clutches of the Romans, not a Messiah who would give them salvation and eternal life. How short-sighted of them!