Summary: Palm Sunday is a day of great paradox, for it was a day of such contrasting emotions. Jesus was such a glad king; such a sad king, and such a mad king.
The final week of the life of Abraham Lincoln has an
amazing parallel to that of the final week of Jesus. From
Palm Sunday to Good Friday is only 5 days, yet in that 5
days we go from the scene of the triumphal entry of the King
to the scene of the tragic exit of the King on the cross. Listen
to the parallel of Lincoln's final week.
General Grant was surrounding the Confederate Army of
General Lee in the capital city of Richmond. Lee realized the
war was over, and the South was defeated, and on Palm
Sunday of 1865 he surrendered. What a day of victory!
People flocked to the White House clamoring for a
celebration. Lincoln addressed the people and said, "Fellow
citizens, I am very greatly rejoiced to find that an occasion
has occurred so pleasurable that the people cannot restrain
themselves." He called for the band to play his favorite tunes
of "Dixie" and "Yankee Doodle." The crowds were led in
cheers for General Grant and the Army and Navy. When
Lincoln went into the White House they cheered him as their
That holy week was one of the best Lincoln ever enjoyed.
He worked long hours, but was very relaxed and at peace.
On Good Friday he had an early cabinet meeting. In the
afternoon he and his wife went for a long carriage ride, and
that evening they went to the theatre. On Palm Sunday he
was a victor. On Good Friday he was a victim, as he was
assassinated. Here was a man so loved he was praised by the
masses, but here was also a man so hated that he was
murdered. Love and hate are never far apart, and that is
what we see in holy week, the last week of the life of Jesus. It
begins with the wildest expression of mass affection that
Jesus ever received. When the Jewish leaders complained to
Jesus about this excessive display of emotion, Jesus said it
cannot be helped, for it is impossible to suppress the
explosion of praise. If you silence the people, the very stones
will take up where they left off, and continue this cry of
Jesus knew He would soon be on a cross, for that was an
essential in God's plan to save man, but He says, not only is
Good Friday a necessity, and not only is Easter Sunday a
necessity, but Palm Sunday is also a necessity. It is one of the
pieces of the puzzle, and it could not be complete without this
day of triumphal entry. It was not enough that Jesus died for
us, He had to die as our King. He did not die as a carpenter,
or as an itinerant preacher. He died as the King of the Jews,
who was long promised, and who would be the king of God's
people forever. The sign Pilate put on the cross said, "Jesus
of Nazareth the King of the Jews." The leaders of Israel
would not acknowledge He was their king. In verse 42 Jesus
says the truth was hidden from their eyes.
On the night of May 14, 1912, a well dressed man
collapsed on the street in the center of Hamburg, Germany.
A doctor passing by helped a policeman get him into a cab.
He died on the way to the hospital, and since he had no
identification on him, he was taken to the morgue until
someone could identify him. It was 2:00 in the morning
when the valet of King Fredrick VIII of Denmark realized
that the king had not returned from his walk. He called the
hotel manager who in turn called the police. After several
hours of investigation it was determined that the man who
had died in the cab was the Danish king, brother of Queen
Alexandra of England, and Uncle of the Czar of Russia. He
was a great king, but he died unrecognized. So it was with
Jesus. He was the promised king, the Son of David, but He
was unrecognized, and died in the eyes of the Jewish leaders
as a mere criminal, rather than the Royal Redeemer that He
Jesus said in verse 42, if they had only known He was
their king, they could have had the peace of God, but because
they could not see He was the king, they had to suffer the
judgment of God. One of the lessons of Palm Sunday is that
we need to listen to the perspectives of the little people, and
those outside the circles of influence. From the day Jesus was
born until the day He died, the people who saw who He really
was were the little people and outsiders.
The wise men came seeking Him asking where is He who