Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Holy Week and a day we remember when Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Let's read the account:

And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’
— Luke 16:35-38 (ESV)

As Jesus rode the animal and made his way through the crowd, people laid palm branches and cloaks on the road, a sign of royal treatment. They also joyfully proclaimed as he rode past them, "Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9). Jesus was receiving the arrival of a king and certainly, people were proclaiming this to be true. 

Warren Wiersbe writes this about the entry,

Since it was Passover, there were probably about 2 million people in and around Jerusalem. This was the only time in His ministry that Jesus actually planned and promoted a public demonstration. Up to this time, He had cautioned people not to tell who He was, and He had deliberately avoided public scenes.

Why, if he had kept such a low profile in his ministry, was Jesus now going big? Well, because it was to fulfil prophecy,

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
— Zechariah 9:9

Jesus was fulfilling one of many prophecies made about him, just in that week alone. It was a declaration of who he was and what he was about to do. Sadly, few recognized the significance of that entry and what was about to take place. In fact, although they praised him as king most would end up denying him just days later.

Jesus rode in to the sounds of their praises but in his heart, he already knew they all would abandon him later that week. The lonely cross was before him and although they would deny him, he was just days away from dying for them anyway.

As we remember Palm Sunday and enter the Holy Week leading up to Easter, take time over the next few days to read about Jesus' last week on Earth and reflect on what he went through, on our behalf, on his way to the cross.