Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
The Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday. Jesus has spent the last three years teaching, preaching and healing throughout the area, and today, He rides into Jerusalem to make known publicly and officially, “I am the Messiah.”
The people celebrated His arrival. With joy and fanfare, they excitedly wave palm branches and shout “Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” (John 12:13). They welcomed a King. They wanted freedom from the oppressive government and a new life. But Jesus was about to offer even greater freedom from all oppression and a new life for eternity! But first, the same people who were so excited to welcome Him, the same ones shouting “Hosanna” in a few short days would change their cries to “Crucify!”
Palm Sunday is a celebration of the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Today, 2,000 years later, we still celebrate it and remember it as a special day when Jesus fulfilled ancient prophecy and humbly rode in on a donkey. Not a creature of dignity or honor, but a lowly animal meant for hard work and service. Jesus did not enter as an earthly king, but as the Savior of the world!
Today and in the coming week, take time to remember what Jesus has done, and reflect on who Jesus is. Is He your king? Your Savior? He offers unbelievable freedom, joy, peace, and eternal life when we accept Him as Lord and Savior. He entered Jerusalem fully aware of what He was about to endure, the pain, suffering, ridicule—all at the hands of the very people who so excitedly welcomed him in. Yet, He chose, in love, to endure the cross so we all could have forgiveness of every sin. As He smiled at them from the back of the donkey, He must have pondered their hearts, our fickle hearts. As He looked at each of their faces, perhaps He also pictured ours. Knowing their hearts, our hearts, He humbly accepted their praise, ready to accept their contempt, about to change the world!
Celebrate Jesus today and worship Him—He is worthy! Also, remember who He is. Whatever our thoughts of Jesus, He is more! He is stronger, more powerful, more loving, more forgiving…He is more than we can understand or imagine. Today is a day of remembrance and celebration, and it is also a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Jesus is Lord and King of all creation; He is Savior, Messiah, God in the flesh. Do you recognize Him in your life? Who is He to you? I plan to reflect deeply this week on Christ’s role in my life, and I pray you will do the same. Have we welcomed him in on the donkey and stopped there? Or have we surrendered ourselves completely? Have we become a living sacrifice, dying to ourselves, living for Him, looking ahead to the coming day when He will soon return on a white horse and take His rightful place on the throne? He has entered. The cross is soon. His Resurrection is coming…and He will return! Are you ready?
Worship Him today and lift Him high! Not just with palm branches, but with your heart, thoughts, and life. Worship Him with heart, mind, and soul and give the King praise!
Jesus, thank You! We remember Your time on earth and celebrate Who You are. Teach us to go further with You, all the way to the cross and strengthen us to fully surrender absolutely everything to You. Thank You for Your love! We love You, praise You, and worship You! In Your name, Jesus, we pray, Amen!
photo credit: Sun thru palmleaves via photopin (license)