“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12: 13
“Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them.” A.W. Tozer
- Take a few moments to quiet your spirit before the Lord. Sit in the stillness and ask the Lord to create in you a clean heart. Rest in His presence. Remember who He is. Just be still.
- Read John 12: 12-18. Mark in your journal anything that stands out.
The Significance of Palm Sunday
As I began to read the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a few things stood out as peculiar. As a child, I held palm branches and yelled “Hosanna!” I really didn’t know the true meaning of those actions. I just did it. I have to wonder if some of the people, who had journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival, held the palm branches and yelled “Hosanna,” but wondered why. What was so significant about this moment?
In Jesus’ time on earth, palm branches meant triumph or honor. It was a political statement indicating that they were saved. Their hero, Jesus, was going to rescue them from their current suffering under Roman rule. In fact, the term they yelled, ‘Hosanna,’ means “save now please.” Initially, the word had a deep meaning of God’s power to save. Hosanna then transitioned into a joyous shout of praise or victory.
We realize that the crowd was throwing and swaying palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” because they thought Jesus was going to save them immediately. We know from John 12:17-18 that the crowd had known and experienced miracles first hand. They had seen Jesus in action.
So what changed? How did they go from believing that Jesus was going to save them to putting Him on the cross?
Personally, I think the crowd had a small knowledge of Jesus. They only wanted what He could do for them and not who He was. Luke 19:41 tells us that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Why did He weep? He wept because He could see their rejection.
They didn’t understand that Jesus was coming to save them from themselves. They couldn’t see how they needed a Savior to rescue them from their personal sins. They thought someone, Jesus, would come and wipe out all of their enemies. They didn’t want any more hardships. They wanted the easy road.
In contrast, Jesus wanted to save their souls. Jesus wanted to empower them to love their enemies. Jesus wanted them to overcome the world as He has overcome the world.
Jesus wanted the narrow road. Jesus wanted a relationship.
He wants you–every bit of you. He doesn’t want to be a genie in the bottle. He wants to walk this life with you and teach you, encourage you, rebuke you and love you. He wants you to know who He is.
Questions to Ponder
- In your opinion, who is God?
- What are some of God’s greatest characteristics that have been displayed in your life?
- Are you striving for a relationship with God? Or do you prefer a checklist of dos and don’ts?
- Read all four Gospel accounts of the Triumphal Entry. Compare and contrast in your journal using columns.
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