The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna (praise) to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21: 6 – 9
Nothing marks the coming of spring quite like Easter! They’re both arriving a little later this year, but what a beautiful time of year with all its newness of life.
Our boys are getting excited as they anticipate dying eggs, hiding them, and of course, the coming of the Easter bunny. But they are also looking forward to this Sunday, which is Palm Sunday, as they watch the choir walk down the aisle at their church, singing and waving their palm branches to mark the beginning of Holy Week.
They remember this special day from last year when Miles was a part of the Children’s Choir and participated in the event. It was a moving experience, but the real significance of this day goes beyond their understanding.
And isn’t that true for many adults, as well? There are many who believe, but yet, they don’t know the Easter story as told in Scripture, and how sad that there are so many who don’t know this Savior who could change their hearts and their lives with His love and grace.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, marking the week before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All through the Old Testament, the promise of a Messiah to enter Jerusalem and to reign over His people had been prophesied. Amazingly, the fact that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt and His way was paved with palms is one of over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This one is from the prophet, Zechariah, given almost 500 years before Jesus’s birth:
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
The people watching this procession hoped this might be their King and the fulfillment of God’s promise to them. They had heard his teachings and many had seen His miracles. They welcomed Him as they would have any victorious King when he returned from battle, with the laying of their cloaks and palms along the road.
These branches were a symbol of joy and victory and were often placed on a grave as a sign of eternal life. What symbolism for what the Son of God would bring to the world.
Coming in humility and peace, He was quite different from the powerful King the people had been expecting. Yet, they wanted to believe He was their Messiah and they welcomed Him with their praise and honor. How quickly this joyful celebration would end, leading to His arrest and to the agony of the cross. But we know there’s more – a glorious resurrection is to come.
As we prepare our hearts to remember and celebrate this special day on God’s eternal calendar, may we each reflect on what Easter means to us and to our lives. May we be open to seeing this Savior anew in a way that brings awe, joy, and gratitude to our hearts for the gift of His grace. May this truly be a season of newness and an awareness of the honor, praise, and glory our Lord and Savior deserves for His gift of eternal life.
Our most loving and gracious God, may we never forget the gift of your Son on the cross, the sacrifice and pain He endured for each of us, and His saving grace with the promise of eternal life. May our hearts be filled with love, humility, and gratitude during this season of remembrance. In the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen