What does Palm Sunday mean?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that took place one week before His resurrection (Matthew 21:1-11). Palm Sunday starts the “Passion Week,” or the final seven days of Jesus’ ministry on earth to save the world (John 3:17).

Palm Sunday started when Jesus sent two disciples to Bethany at the mountain of Olives to find an animal to ride on. The disciples found the colt of a donkey just as Jesus instructed (Luke 19:29–30). They threw their cloaks on it and Jesus rode it to Jerusalem (Luke 19:35).

When Jesus entered Jerusalem “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” (Matthew 21:8). The branches they cut were from palm trees (John 12:13), thus, giving that day the name “Palm Sunday.

“The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’; ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:9). But “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” (Luke 19:39). But Jesus replied, “I tell you . . . if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).

The Heavenly Kingdom

The people were looking for a temporal, earthy kingdom. They failed to understand the spiritual nature of Jesus’ ministry. And “as [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies . . . will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you” (Luke 19:41–47). Sadly, these same people that cried “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday, cried few days later “Crucify Him!” (Matthew 27:22–23).

This event was predicted thousands of years earlier by the prophet Zechariah when he said, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!; Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!: See, your king comes to you; righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). David the prophet also prophesied of the same exhortation that the people were shouting, “bless is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:25-26).

There will be yet another future fulfillment to this prophecy at the end of time which John spoke of, “There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9). At the white throne, the redeemed will give praise, thanksgiving and glory to God for the victory that He has given them.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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