Palm Sunday was just exactly that, the people making a way for the King’s arrival. He arrived riding a donkey’s colt and the people laid down palm branches and their cloaks.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~Zechariah 9:9
- The donkey may refer to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. A king would have come riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and riding upon a donkey when he wanted to point out he was coming in peace. Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem would have thus symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war-waging king.
- Jesus approaches Jerusalem, he looks at the city and weeps over it, foretelling the suffering that awaits the city.
- The palm branch was the emblem of Judea and appeared on the coins of the land, symbolizing one of the country’s riches. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the trees were in bloom, so in covering the way with palm branches, the people were offering a symbol of great value and luxury.
Palm Sunday is a celebration for all Christians for the coming of the King, our Savior, the Son of the Most High God. In a short time from now, historically, Jesus will take on His own sholders the sins of the world. The sins of mankind allowing all, Jews and Gentiles alike, will be permitted to accept salvation upon repentance and baptism into the fold. And God will accept them based upon His promises set forth within the Biblical Text.
Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem in order to fullfil a promise for man and a foretelling of the Son of Man. It was through a man which sin, or the nature of man, was revealed. And it was through a man, God in the flesh (the Son of Man; Jesus) which salvation was also reveled.
Stay vigilant! Stay vocal! Stay blessed!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD