Palm Sunday: Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is the beginning of our Holy Week and is recognized as the day Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Jesus rode humbly on a donkey and was met by multitudes of people laying palm leaves and clothes in His path, shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9).
At first glance it may seem there’s nothing very triumphant about Jesus riding into Jerusalem, on a pre-owned donkey, over a bunch of worn clothes and palm leaves. But with closer examination, you can unveil the triumphant victory this entry was proclaiming.
Here are two to give you a start:
Jesus’ entry proclaims Him as the Messiah
What is so wonderful about the entry of Jesus is not necessarily what it looked like, but rather what it fulfilled. In Zechariah 9:9, the prophet Zechariah proclaims, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (CSB)
If ever there was a question about who Jesus was, at that moment it became very clear. Every Jew would have known this messianic prophecy. That’s why the crowds were rejoicing and shouting with praise. That’s why they laid their clothing and palm leaves on the ground because that was the treatment for a king. They believed they had finally found their King. And they were right. They had found their King. But not in the manner in which they had supposed.
Jesus’ entry was a symbol of peace
Scholars attest to the fact that, in the ancient Middle Eastern world, a king riding on a horse was a symbol of war, while a king riding on a donkey was symbolic of peace. Zechariah 9:10 highlights this peace,
“I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and He will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.” (CSB)
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. But the peace that Jesus has given is not the peace that the world can give (John 14:27). His entry into Jerusalem (and the world) brought peace between God and man. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is the only Way we can truly live peacefully with God. Jesus’ entry was a proclamation that He alone would reconcile every broken relationship and restore what was lost in the fall.
At the time, the Jews erroneously believed that Jesus was coming to establish an earthly kingdom and upset the establishment, the Roman rulership, over Israel. But praise God that He established something far greater, a spiritual kingdom that is ruled in righteousness and justice, one that can never be destroyed and will never end.
Now it’s your turn! Take time today to unpack truths from the gospel accounts of Palm Sunday. Meditate on scripture and ask Holy Spirit to reveal its truths and how it’s applicable to you.
Ways to reflect and remember
READ THE GOSPEL ACCOUNTS OF PALM SUNDAY
PRAISE AND WORSHIP
- Hosanna by Hillsong.
- The children of Israel may not have fully understood the purpose of Jesus’ first coming, but today we can embrace what He’s done for us and joyfully await the day of redemption. Let’s celebrate that Jesus is our true and living King, He is Hosanna the King of Glory!
MEDITATE ON THE WORD
- Utilize an app like Abide to meditate on what each day of Holy Week means, starting with today. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices.
- Visit our online service and worship with other saints this Sunday.
ENGAGE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
- Offer thanksgiving to the Lord for the peace He brings.
- Read this devotional about Jesus’ triumphant entry with your family.
- Join a community group this week and discuss the importance of Holy Week and ways we can honor the Lord.
- If you have small children, or just want to have fun with it, assign parts and act out Palm Sunday. Makeshift costumes, use a stuffed animal (or dad’s back) as the donkey, and go all out!
- Watch these videos with your kiddos: The Story of Easter (The Triumphal Entry). and God’s Story: Palm Sunday.
- The Bible Project provides a good account everyone can watch.
Check back here daily for a new post providing study and celebration resources for each day of the week.