Summary: Easter Reflection series: How Palm Sunday informs us of our response to God and to the world
The Stones Will Cry Out
Easter Reflection series
What a celebration! Crowds were excited! Jesus was thrilled to see the response of worship. But some party-poopers were there (v.39). I love Jesus¡¦ response, don¡¦t u just love it. Let them celebrate, don¡¦t¡¦ shush them. If they keep quiet the stones will cry out... Oh God wants us to celebrate! Partying in His presence! He loves the praises in loud voices¡K He enjoys the gladness of the people! That¡¦s Palm Sunday.
Grand Entrance (source: www.Christianitytoday.com)
Palm Sunday celebrates the day Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But let¡¦s test how much we really know of that day¡¦s events, recorded in all four Gospels, with these true or false statements.
1. According to the Gospels, the people waved palm branches when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
False (Matt. 21:6, Mark 11:8, Luke 19:36, John 12:13). None of the four Gospels say the people "waved" branches but that they spread garments and branches in Jesus¡¦ path. Only John 12 passage mentions palm branches, apparently, a tree not native to Jerusalem. In our Luke passage, it mentions only the spreading of cloaks. Palm branches usage signifies ¡§victory.¡¨ But I guess, there must be some waving too as cloaks and branches are pretty big, and when you spread it around, it¡¦s gonna wave a bit, don¡¦t u think?
2. The date of Jesus¡¦ triumphal entry¡Xfive days before Passover¡Xwas a special holiday in his time.
True. It wasn¡¦t called Palm Sunday in Jesus¡¦ day, but each Israelite family chose the lamb they would sacrifice for Passover on the tenth day of the month. As the people shouted "Hosanna," they didn¡¦t realize they were choosing the Lamb of God as their sacrifice.
3. By their actions, the people were publicly proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.
True. When Solomon was anointed king, he rode into the city on a mule, to the shouts and praises of the people (1 Kings 1:43-45). Zechariah prophesied the Messiah would arrive the same way "gentle and riding on a donkey" (Zech. 9:9).
4. The fact that Jesus rode a donkey portrayed him as a warrior king.
False. Conquering kings would ride war horses; the donkey symbolized peace and humility (Zech. 9:9, 10). Jesus¡¦ entry was a stark contrast to the war-like Romans, whose military presence was very visible. We rather have this imagery ¡K.The stallion stood on its hind legs, neighed loudly, and pawed the air with its front legs. When it stood as tall as it could stand, Jesus leaned forward in the saddle. Holding the reins with one hand while lifting his white hat in the air with the other, He shouted with a loud voice, "hi ho silver away" As Jesus road off into the sunset, you could hear the William Tell Overture in the background. Du du dunt¡K
5. The shouts of "Hosanna!" meant "Praise the Lord!"
False. The Hebrew word Halleluia means "praise the Lord;" Hosanna means "save us!" or "save!" The Palm Sunday crowd falsely assumed that Jesus would bring political liberation.
6. The route Jesus chose for his triumphal entry was down the side of Mount Zion.
False. Jesus rode down the Mount of Olives offering him an excellent view of Jerusalem, which is built on Mount Zion. According to Zechariah 14:4, Jesus will again stand on the Mount of Olives at his second coming.
7. When the people spread branches and garments in Jesus¡¦ path it was to pay him honor.
True. The people were boldly declaring that Jesus was their king, an accusation eventually written in condemnation above his cross. It was common in Bible times to spread garments in the path of princes and kings, especially at their coronation (see 2 Kings 9:13).
8. The shouts of "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" were words of a Jewish hymn.
True. The phrases "Hosanna" and "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" both come from Psalm 118: 25-26, one of the "Hallel" or praise psalms (113-118) used every Passover. These Jewish hymns would be as familiar to the Jewish people as Christmas carols are to Christians.
A. Are we clueless?
Thank God qualifications for heaven is not based on getting a score of 100% on a quiz about what you know about Palm Sunday. Thank God that there is no one in heaven such as that scary lady on current TV quiz show, saying to you and me ¡§Andrew, you¡¦re the weakest link, goodbye!¡¨
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday, because we remember that Jesus chose this road to Jerusalem even though it meant death. Yes though this road meant death, it was the start of what would become everlasting life for us. If He did not walk get on that donkey and fulfil the OT prediction we would all be turfed out, for we are all the weakest link in every shape and form. Look at humanity¡¦s record it is not pretty. Ever since history is recorded there is no peace, somewhere on earth there is evidence violence, war and death. Even sitting and watching an NHL game, if you are not careful, you can killed as we heard last week in the news, in game between the Col. Blue Jackets and the Cal. Flames. As you examine his entry into Jerusalem in Lk.18:31-34, you will find Jesus is thinking about the events that will lead to awful death on the cross. However, Jesus¡¦ disciples were clueless (18:34).