This weekend most Western Christians will celebrate one of the holiest days of their sacred calendar year: Palm Sunday.
Just what is Palm Sunday?
Perhaps the beloved physician and Gospel author Saint Luke can help us.
Saint Luke describes what took place on that first Psalm Sunday nearly 2,000 years ago with these words (Luke 19:28-40):
The Triumphal Entry
28 After He had said these things [JESUS had just finished delivering a teaching with a parable], He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples,
30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”
32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them.
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them,
“Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They said, “The Lord has need of it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.
36 As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road.
37 As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen,
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
Furthermore, the Evangelist and Gospel writer Saint John the Apostle adds some more detail to this account in the 12th chapter of the Gospel that bears his name…
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
12 On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”
Both Saint Luke and Saint John affirm the truthfulness of a vision that the prophet Zechariah received centuries earlier:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is Just and endowed with Salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
For the last 40 or so days, the Christian community has been in a season of intense prayer, worship, and devotion known as “Lent.”
Palm Sunday begins an important 7 day time of remembrance of the betrayal, criminal sentencing, suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and Resurrection of JESUS CHRIST – “Passion Week.”
Gosh, that was a mouthful!!!
My Friends, what are we to do with this man called Jesus?
His Jewish name would be rendered “Joshua or Yeshua.” This name means The LORD IS SALVATION.
Again, I pose the question: What are we to do with this man called Jesus?
The three great monotheistic faiths -Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – are all split on how they view JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth.
Our Jewish Friends – at least the leadership of Jesus’ day – mostly rejected Him because He did not conform to their expectations of what they thought the Messiah would look like. They accused Jesus of both “Idolatry and Sorcery.”
Today many Jews simply see Jesus as a great “moral teacher,” but they do not embrace Him as Yeshua.
Our Islamic Friends see Jesus as a great Prophet, but not as great a prophet as Mohammad. Furthermore, many followers of Islam stumble over the doctrine of The Trinity (the Christian belief in One GOD in Three distinct persons).
But again I pose the question: What are we to do with this man called Jesus?
It is evident by the fact that JESUS openly received Praise and Worship and by the fact that He saw Himself fulfilling the words of the prophet Zechariah that JESUS was making a direct claim to Deity.
JESUS once posed a question to His Disciples when He asked them: “Who Do You Say that I AM?”
JESUS’ earliest disciples Jews, Greeks, and Gentiles bowed down before Him and called Him LORD (please see the book of ACTS).
My Friends, how we answer this question has profound consequences not only in this life, but in the world to come.
Thank You and may GOD Bless You!
From: Pastor George Stephen Kelly