Summary: Why did people wave palm branches?
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed [is] He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!’ Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’ His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and [that] they had done these things to Him. Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, ‘You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!’” (John 12:12-19).
A. WHY PALMS?
1. Why did people wave palm branches? They were considered symbols of peace and victory. “The people went forth and brought . . . palm branches” (Neh. 8:15). “Took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him” (Jn. 12:13). “I beheld, and lo a great multitude . . . of all nations . . . and people, and tongues . . . with . . . palms in their hands” (Rev 7:9, KJV).
2. What day was it? The seventh day before Passover, i.e., Sunday. “Seven days ye must eat unleavened bread, on the first day (Sunday) ye shall have an holy convocation” (Lev. 23:5-7).
a. Sunday was specially predicted in the feast schedule.
b. Sunday was called Yom Too i.e., good day.
c. This Sunday overshadowed ordinary ones.
B. CHRONOLOGY OF PALM SUNDAY
1. SATURDAY NIGHT, Feast at Bethany. “Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany . . . there they made him a supper” (John 12:1-2).
a. Mary anointed His feet. Judas asked a question of application, “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matt. 26:8).
• To predict His death and burial (Matt. 26:12).
• To worship. Perfume was used in sacrifice.
b. Greed appears with worship. “This he (Judas) said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief” (John 12:6).
2. EARLY SUNDAY MORNING, Jesus obeyed scripture. “He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem” (Luke 19:28).
3. EARLY secured two animals. “Jesus sent two disciples . . . you will see a donkey tied there with its colt” (Matt. 21:1, LB).
a. Divine plan. Predicted place.
b. Human yieldedness. “And they let them (donkeys) go” (Mark 11:6).
c. Human preparation. “The disciples threw their coats across its back for Him (Jesus) to ride on” (Matt. 11:7, LB).
d. Fulfilled prophecy. “Behold your King cometh . . . riding upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech. 9:9).
a. Jesus subdues animal nature. “Whereon never man sat” (Mark 11:2).
4. ON THE ROAD
a. Entrance fit for a king. “Many in the crowd spread out their coats along the road before Him, while others threw down palm branches” (Mark 11:8). Both reverence and fear.
c. The two groups of people are prediction of coming rapture. First, “They that followed” (Mark 11:8), “Jesus . . . will bring with Him” (I Thess. 4:14). Second, “The people also met Him” (John 12:18), “We which are alive and remain, shall be caught up” (I Thess. 4:17).
5. REJECTION BY JEWISH LEADERS
a. Tried to silence worship. “Rebuke thy disciples” (Luke 19:39).
b. Worship must speak. “He (Jesus) answered . . . if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
c. They rejected. “Behold the world is gone after Him” (John 12:19).
6. CENTER OF ATTRACTION
a. “Thy King cometh” (John 12:15). Centrality.
b. “They cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13).
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• King – They expected King David or his son.
7. JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE
a. First remove impurities. “Jesus went into the Temple of God and cast out” (Matt 21:12).
b. To reflect worship. “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt 21:13).
c. Children worship. “The children crying in the Temple . . . Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matt. 21:15).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: