Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week for Christ’s followers. On Palm Sunday Christians mark Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I am preparing for Palm Sunday lesson for Kids Church tomorrow and did a little research. It was neat that this event would be prophesied in the Old Testament. I also find it very interesting that Jesus chose a donkey – a humble, hard working animal representing peace instead of a great horse of war like most Kings would ride on. The Israelites wanted him to rescue them from the Romans but he was there to rescue all of mankind that trusted in him. I know this had to be such a special day for Jesus and his disciples – they were finally receiving the glory and recognition they so deserved. What a special day for him….but only a week later – they yelled to crucify him and even his own disciples betrayed and denied him. We really need to study this special event and learn some lessons…
Definition of HOSANNA—used as a cry of acclamation and adoration
Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” (ESV). The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”
Palm branches are a part of Christian worship on Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, as it is sometimes called. This event commemorates Jesus Christ‘s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, as foretold by the prophet Zechariah. The Bible tells us people cut branches from palm trees, laid them across Jesus’ path and waved them in the air. They greeted Jesus not as the spiritual Messiah who would take away the sins of the world, but as a potential political leader who would overthrow the Romans. Their shout “Hosanna” meant “save now.” In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory. They were often depicted on coins and important buildings. Solomon had palm branches carved into the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:29). Again at the end of the Bible, people from every nation raise palm branches to honor Jesus (Revelation 7:9). Today, many Christian churches distribute palm branches to worshipers on Palm Sunday. The people remember Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, praise him for the gift of salvation, and look expectantly to his second coming. (Sources: gotquestions.org and scienceofcorrespondences.com.)
In the Old Testament in Zechariah 9:9 The Message – A Humble King Riding a Donkey
9-0 “Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!
Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem!
Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right,
a humble king riding a donkey,
a mere colt of a donkey.
I’ve had it with war—no more chariots in Ephraim,
no more war horses in Jerusalem,
no more swords and spears, bows and arrows.
He will offer peace to the nations,
a peaceful rule worldwide,
from the four winds to the seven seas.
One of the few stories told in all four gospels. Here is each version. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) This was truly a significant event.
Matthew 21 The Message (MSG) – The Royal Welcome
21 1-3 When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You’ll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you.” -5 This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet: Tell Zion’s daughter, “Look, your king’s on his way, poised and ready, mounted On a donkey, on a colt, foal of a pack animal.” 6-9 The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!” 10 As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?” 11 The parade crowd answered, “This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Mark 11 The Message (MSG) – Entering Jerusalem on a Colt
11 1-3 When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’”4-7 They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. Some of those standing there said, “What are you doing untying that colt?” The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted.8-10 The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name! Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in highest heaven! 11 He entered Jerusalem, then entered the Temple. He looked around, taking it all in. But by now it was late, so he went back to Bethany with the Twelve.
Luke 19 The Message – God’s Personal Visit
28-31 After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”
32-33 The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?” 34 They said, “His Master needs him.” 35-36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street. 37-38 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name! All’s well in heaven! Glory in the high places!
39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”
40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
41-44 When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”
45-46 Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, “It’s written in Scripture, My house is a house of prayer; You have turned it into a religious bazaar.” 47-48 From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn’t come up with anything.
John 12 See How Your King Comes
12-15 The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Yes! The King of Israel! Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:
No fear, Daughter Zion: See how your king comes, riding a donkey’s colt.
16 The disciples didn’t notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him.
17-19 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”
Funny thing about Palm Sunday is that everyone praised Jesus and honored him and showed their love, but only one week later – they yelled crucify him! Many denied even knowing him – including his most beloved followers. Do we praise Jesus on Sundays and then deny him during the week? What are some things that we can do each day to show Jesus that we adore him and he is our king? So this next week is HOLY WEEK and we need to remember what Jesus did for us…Friday he stretched his Palms and had large nails pierce them with our names on them so that he could save our life. Not just mine but all that trust and believe.
Here are a few videos that I enjoy about Jesus and Palm Sunday.