by Rev. James Wong
This Sunday is Palm Sunday and Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, a week before his death and resurrection. For many churches, Palm Sunday is referred to as “Passion Sunday,” which marks the beginning of the Holy Week that concludes on Easter Sunday. The biblical account of Palm Sunday was recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19.
It was Passover time. Jerusalem and the whole surrounding neighborhood was crowded with pilgrims. It was estimated that there were two and a half million people who had crowded their way into Jerusalem for this national festival. The law required that every adult male Jew who lived within twenty miles of Jerusalem must come to the Passover.
There are three things about the Lord Jesus Christ in his journey to Jerusalem.
1. It Shows Us Jesus’ Courage: He took the final journey.
Jesus knew that the journey to Jerusalem was his last, a journey that would lead to his death, burial and resurrection. This was what he said to his disciples while he was on the way to Jerusalem, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!" Matthew 20:17-19 (NIV). Jesus knew the details of his suffering. The execution on the cross was the cruelest form of punishment that even the Romans eventually abolished it in 337 A.D.
2. It Shows Us Jesus’ Claim: He is the Messiah
He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the chosen one of God to be the savoir of the world. His resurrection from the death is the final proof of his claim to be the savior of the world. About 500 years before Christ was born, the Prophet Zechariah prophesied about the messiah’s journey to Jerusalem with these words: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech 9:9 (NIV). , the prophecy was fulfilled.
3. It Shows Us Jesus’ Appeal: He is the King of Peace
Jesus came humbly and riding upon an ass. Seldom a king came riding upon an ass, but when he did, it was the sign that he came in peace. Jesus entered Jerusalem, gentle and riding on a donkey. He came as a King of Peace. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be called the “Prince of Peace.” Isa 9:6. When Jesus reigns in our hearts we have the peace of God and the strength to live in peace with others. Jesus taught that “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matt 5:9 (NIV).
It was a Triumphal Entry because Jesus completed the journey and became our savior.