Day 40

Holy Week in Real Time: Palm Sunday

from the Lent 2016 reading plan


Luke 19:28-44, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:25-29

The ride Jesus took into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was a moment vital to our salvation.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, perched up on that colt on the Sunday before His crucifixion, it was the first time since raising Lazarus from the dead that He’d shown His face in the city. The story of Lazarus’ resurrection had circulated, so even those who only heard about it later regarded Jesus as something of a celebrity. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of Him. John tells us that because they heard Jesus had raised Lazarus, they went out to meet Him and received Him like a King (John 12:12-18).

Jesus said Lazarus’ death would end in the faith of many and in the “glory of God—that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). But the glory He had in mind was even more magnificent than His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In fact, Jesus wasn’t referring to the glory the people gave Him at all. Lazarus’ resurrection would steel the resolve of the religious leaders to hand Jesus over to a death He would freely accept—a death He would ultimately conquer (John 11:45-53). That was the glory He meant.

This Sunday was the hour of Jerusalem’s visitation. Jesus loved this city. He wept over her because what the people wanted and what they needed were so far from one another (Luke 19:41-44). Jesus knew the full extent of the salvation these people required, and He also knew what it would cost. He knew salvation was unfolding before them in that very moment.

The punishment that would bring them peace was about to be laid upon Him (Isaiah 53:6).

Jesus knew the religious leaders would play a role in bringing this punishment to Him because they feared Rome more than they feared God. He knew they would be willing to kill one of their own if it meant preserving the privilege of worship that Caesar had granted (John 11:48-50).

And so it was that He rode on into the city and made His way to the temple while the people of Israel parted like a holy curtain torn, crying, “Hosanna!” which means, “Please, save us now” (Matthew 21:6-9).

As Jesus rode along, the people cried out to one another, “Your King is coming!” (Mark 11:10) and they praised His victory over Lazarus’ death (John 12:17-18). But the irony was that He wasn’t coming to claim His crown on account of Lazarus’ death and resurrection. He was coming to claim it on account of His own.

written by Russ Ramsey
adapted from Behold the King of Glory

Post Comments (8)

8 thoughts on "Holy Week in Real Time: Palm Sunday"

  1. Isaac Jones says:

    Man must look to Christ for salvation. Christ said that the city would be destroyed because the people did not fully accept Him; some people accepted, but most rejected Him and shouted “crucify him” later. Christ has victory over sin on our behalf. Christ did what we need to make a way to God.

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    God loves humanity continually. His care for His people will never run out. God enters in the way He deems fit for His purposes. God is our glory and our portion; Jesus is God.

  3. Isaac Jones says:

    I will proclaim that Jesus is God, and Lord of all things from creation to my life.

  4. Isaac Jones says:

    Christ is the way, and Christ is the one; there is no other that can do what Christ did. The good news is the coming of Jesus to die for the sins of man having full victory over sin and death.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    Heavenly Father,
    You are full of Grace and Glory! You have shown your majesty from Genesis to Jesus! Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest! Praise be to the One who is, who was, and who is to come! Glory be to You God of our fathers in faith! Blessed be your name forever and ever! May all the nations and peoples glorify your name; amen!

  6. Will says:

    God has a perfect plan found in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our triumphant King, not over the death of one man, but over death for all of mankind for those who love Him.

  7. Will says:

    We consistently fall short of understanding God. We underestimate the grandeur of His plans since they are beyond our comprehension.

  8. Will says:

    God is out in front of us with plans we can’t comprehend. God is sovereign over life and death.

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