Matthew chapter 21 paints a picture of that first Palm Sunday. Jesus, entering Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, riding a donkey while surrounded by lots of high-spirited people casting palm branches onto dusty streets making His way clear. Here comes the Messiah, who will save His people! They shout the Hebrew word ‘hosanna’, which means ‘save us’. The Promised Messiah! ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’
I have a question for you. How did they know that Jesus was their Messiah? This Jesus from Nazareth. Any ideas? Here’s mine. Basically, the same way we do. We know Him through His Word, the Bible. The clues are all there, in the Old Testament. Really? Truly! Jesus’ Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem is built solidly on God’s written Word. Read those seventeen verses in Matthew 21. You’ll find quotes from all over the Old Testament. From Zechariah, the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and once again from the collection of the Psalms.
All the sights and sounds of that Sunday. All the events of that special day could be recognized as echoes from the Old Testament, which they knew so well. Ever felt like you’ve been somewhere before, that things seem strangely familiar? Some shadow from the past that begs to be recognized in the present? A scent that ushers an old memory front-and-center? Such was Palm Sunday. All those Bible passages shed light on the events of that day.
I wonder if life is so confusing for people today, even for believers in Jesus, because so little of the Bible is in us. Society, in general, is largely illiterate to God’s Word, which means they are open to any form of deception that looks and feels good. This all-time, every year best-seller, contains the tools for life… for the taking and using. The key in their hands to open locked doors, but rarely used. No wonder why so many feel disconnected and empty. How sad as the cure is so close at hand. He’s knocking at the door of many hearts this very moment, but His gentle rap-tap often falls on deaf ears.
Palm Sunday made sense because God said in many places, through many prophets and encounters, that He was sending the Messiah and Savior into a needy and sinful world. ‘Hosanna’–save us! May we build more of Him into our lives as we use His tools, found in the pages of His Word, from Genesis to Revelation. That will ‘save us’ from the many wiles and schemes of the enemy. We still need ‘Hosanna’– God saving us… for Himself!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for Jesus, our Savior and Lord. We wave the palm branches, welcoming Him into our lives and world. In His saving name. Amen.