This week we will follow the steps of Jesus through the events of Passion Week, culminating with His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Today a few thoughts about Palm Sunday.
John 12:12-13 – The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem to die. He is now going to do what will save a numberless host of people for all eternity. He is going to fulfil all the prophecies regarding a new covenant and the suffering servant and the serpent crusher and the greater prophet and the supreme King who is the Son of David. He is about to do the work that all the work that all the (faithful) priests for almost fifteen hundred years have been portraying.
The shadow is coming to an end. The reality is here. The plan that was forged before the world was founded is about to be sealed. The guarantee of salvation for all He came to save is about to be written in blood. That which all the Old Testament has been looking forward to and that which all of history will look back on and that which all of eternity will praise God for, is about to take place.
There is no way to exaggerate what Jesus is coming into Jerusalem to do. That which will put an end to evil and sin and temptation and the work of Satan is now going to take place. Doom for Satan. Doom for sin. And that final enemy, death, is about to be dealt its death blow. This – is – some – moment.
The air is electric. The people who have been travelling with Jesus get word to the city that He has arrived. Word spreads throughout Jerusalem like wild fire and a large crowd of people rush out to meet Jesus as those who have been making their way there enter in. They bring the palm leaves to throw before Him – a sign that He is the conquering hero that they have been waiting for. They sing Psalm 118:25-26 as a testimony that they believe He is the Davidic King that they have been waiting for. He rides in on a donkey, a symbol of peace. The war is over, victory is guaranteed.
The religious leaders have a fit (Luke 19:39-40). The one thing that they do NOT want is for Jesus to be seen as the Messiah, to sing Jesus’ praise. But Jesus will not stop them. In fact, He encourages it. If they don’t sing God will cause the rocks to do it. For this is a celebratory event. This is worth all the palm leaves and more. This is worth all the Psalm quoting that there can be. The praise is weak compared to what Jesus deserves for what He is about to do.
And now that He has done it He is worthy of even more praise. This is Jesus, the eternal equal-with-God, Son of God. This is He who created all that is and who sustains all that He created. This is Jesus who in all the history of all the world is the only one who has kept the Law of God the way it was meant to be kept. This is He who, of all the billions of people that have had residence here on earth, is the only One who can save a people from the just punishment of a Holy God.
And He did. And He is. And He will.
And this is He who is doing all this for people who are in rebellion against God. And all that numberless host will have this true of them – they were rebels, sinners, running away from God with their fists clenched in opposition to God. They believed the lie that they could be as God. They chose to do their own thing rather than God’s. They worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator. They had God put before them and they willingly and gladly chose anything but Him. Jesus is about to do all that He did for child abusers and rapists, and murderers and those who practise witchcraft and homosexual practises and prostitution and gossip and disobeying parents and saying “no” to authorities and worst of all, for getting up in the morning and seeing fit to travel through the day without a thought of worship at all. And He will be beaten for them. He will be nailed to a cross for them. He will be speared for them. And He will endure God turning His back on Him and crushing Him as a sinner – for their sakes. And at just the right time, He will change those people into faithful repentant righteous worshippers. And they will live for the praise of His glory – forever. And it will all be because of the cross and the empty tomb.
This should be celebrated. This should be celebrated every day by those who have the benefits of Jesus’ death and resurrection and have come to believe in Jesus by a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. And those people should, and must and will, tell others about it. And more will be saved from their sins because Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey to fulfil that eternal plan. He entered Jerusalem to die.