top of page

Palm Sunday

Holy week has begun. Strange. As Christians, we have very few holidays we celebrate and our Biblical traditions are few. We have communion but other than that, most church based traditions are local to denominations or the actual churches themselves. You will be hard pressed to find in the Bible where Christians are commanded to find a set of "rituals" or "remembrances" along with specific instructions to follow to perform them.

We have Christmas which celebrates the birth of Jesus and we have Easter which celebrates His resurrection. Those are universal Christian celebrations. Other "religious" holidays or "days of remembrance" vary across faith denominations and for a litany of reasons. Some will "pick and choose" meaning they make a few from this and recognize it but not all and some will teach about them but not formally recognize any of them.

Whatever the case may be for you personally, there is no right or wrong answer as long as they are grounded in Biblical truth.

The week leading up to Easter is often referred to "Holy Week" or "Passion Week." The reason for this is because it is all about holiness. It is a string of eight days that allow us an opportunity to reflect upon the shift in humanity Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross launched. Each day of Holy Week allows us to peek into the heart of our Savior at intently close proximity. His love for us is reflected in every significant step toward the cross, every breath up to the last, and His resurrection. During this one week, many biblical prophesies were fulfilled. "Holy Week shouldn’t be observed out of religious obligation but out of hearts seeking the opportunity to journey with Jesus in the closeness the events of this week bring to all who believe in the sacrificial salvation He died to give us. For those curious about Jesus, observing Holy Week is a good opportunity to ask questions and seek answers about who He is, what His sacrifice means, and how His gift affects humanity. When Christians observe Holy Week, we set ourselves apart for Him and dedicate our time to Him. Our observation gives Him the glory and honor that He deserves, for the gift of life we get to live."* It all starts (ed) with Palm Sunday.

Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV):

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Prior to this passage, we know that Jesus has already predicted His death and resurrection 3 times. He has told His disciples 3 times what is to happen. This means He is fully aware once He enters into Jerusalem, Jesus knows that a chain of effects will be started that will culminate in His death. Yet, despite this, He does not hesitate to go.

We also see from this passage prophesy being fulfilled. Key things to take away and not miss:

  • Conquerors and kings would normally ride in on horses. Donkeys were work animals. They are unsuited for battle. This arrival mode is one way to show His pending "sacrificial" and submissive nature at this particular point in time.

  • The way He was greeted by those who encountered Him. They put their outer garments and branches on the road in front of Him as symbols of submission and Jewish victory. They also shout out lines from Psalm 118 that are meant for the Messiah: "Hosanna to the Son of David!" and "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" They greeted Him as a conqueror. They were expecting this mighty King to take on the Romans and defeat them.

While Jesus was indeed a mighty conqueror and powerful king, it was not the kind they were anticipating.

He was greeted as a hero. Welcomed with open arms and cheered. They wanted Him. They just knew in this moment He was the answer to what they had waited for.

In four short days, 96 hours, the climate would be so drastically different. What changed? There were cheers? There were crowds. Jesus was at the center but they were no longer hailing Him as a blessing. The psalm branches had turned to something much darker.

Do you know what it was that changed?

I encourage you to take time today to read the rest of Matthew 21. In fact, read through Matthew 26. If you are really bold, read some of the other accounts as told in Mark and John.

Ask yourself, how would you have reacted if you would have witnessed such a sight? What if you were a follower of Christ? What emboldened Christ to continue? Do you have times you face in your life where you are praised one moment and the next moment chastised? Are there times in your life when you appear to be on the top of the world and for no particular reason at all everyone has turned against you? How do you continue on?

As we look towards the cross and walk in the footsteps of our Savior, know He took those steps for me - for you. Everything that happened from the moment He entered Jerusalem He did because He loved me. He loved you. He knew what was going to happen and He chose to do it anyway.

Will you choose Him today? Don't just wave the palm branch because it feels good. Will you choose Him knowing the rooster is going to crow come Thursday.

(join us tomorrow as we continue our Holy Week Journey. Be sure to share with a friend.)

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page