This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. We normally celebrate Palm Sunday by thinking of the triumphal entry of Jesus riding on the foal of a donkey. The adoring multitudes attending the Passover in Jerusalem were watching Him ride through the streets. They were throwing down garments and palm leaves before Him. The people looked upon Him as the King of the Jews. These oppressed people of a country occupied by the Roman army wanted relief. Jesus, the King of the Jews would be their answer.
All of this was a fulfillment of the prophesy recalled in Matthew 21:5:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
The crowds shouted “Hosanna in the highest.” Hosanna is a plea for salvation and literally means “I beg you to save” or “Please deliver us.”
Psalm 118:26 had foretold the recognition of the Messiah in this way:
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord —
the King of Israel!”
When Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, we read in Matthew 21:9 the crowds shouted:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”
The crowds were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their addressing Him as the heir of one of their greatest kings: “Son of David.” David was a conqueror, who was also anointed by the Lord as king. Jesus had come to save them, but not as a leader of a rebellion. Had Jesus done that, it would now be merely a footnote in history. But Jesus has now ruled in the hearts and minds and souls of men, women and children for 2,000 years. Pew Research says there are 2.3 billion Christians in the world today.
But something happened later that week in Jerusalem. The nation turned away from God. They crucified the Messiah according to the plan of God, and then Jesus demonstrated God’s power over death through the Resurrection.
The crucifixion that week seemed to be a devastating failure, but it was a precursor to God’s plan for Jesus to be the propitiation for your sins and mine. After Jesus was resurrected, He spent the next 40 days teaching the disciples and appeared to 500 people at one time.
Jesus had unlimited courage. He predicted that He would be mocked, scourged, crucified, and would be resurrected from the dead in Jerusalem. Jesus knew He was on a mission of God for our salvation. That is why Jesus intentionally went to His death in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ loved you.
The message of Christ has now resonated throughout the world for over 2,000 years. Lives are changed from sin, chaos, confusion and misery to wholesome lives of love for others in Jesus Christ. The entire world needs the abundant and eternal life found only through belief in God through Jesus Christ.
Dr. Roger Holl is pastor of the Sterling Grace Community Church. Sunday messages may be seen on the Facebook page of Sterling Grace Community Church or on YouTube. Live services commence at the Sterling Senior Center on Easter, Sunday, April 4 at 10:30 a.m. Contact 907-862-0336 for more information.