The Sunday before Christ’s resurrection is called PALM SUNDAY in retrospect of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As he entered the holy city, he was closer to the culmination of a long rough journey toward Golgotha. This is the beginning of a special week often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ ministry and work on earth. He had come to save the lost at this time and in this place, to seal our salvation.
The day began with Jesus traveling over the Mount of Olives. He sent disciples ahead into a village to get an unbroken colt of a donkey, to continue his mission. His disciples found it just as Jesus had said they would. When they told the owner that it was for Jesus, he had no problem letting them take it. They threw cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. (Luke 19:35)
A multitude gathered around Jesus as he ascended toward Jerusalem. They understood that Jesus was the Messiah, but as Jesus tried to tell them, it was not time to set up the kingdom yet. Because the crowd cut palm branches from trees and spread them on the road, that action gave rise to the name “Palm Sunday.” Some spread their cloaks on the road giving Jesus the same royal treatment that Jehu was given at his coronation. (Kings 9:13) The crowd honored Jesus verbally as they 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)
The Jewish crowds were quoting and acknowledged prophecy of Christ in their praise to Him, but the illusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment from the religious leaders. “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘teacher, rebuke your disciples!” (Luke 19:39-40) Jesus did not. He replied, “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” The celebration was cut short as the crowd looked for a Messiah who would rescue them politically and free them nationally, but He had come to save them spiritually. He wept over the city as he realized that people had no idea what a price he would pay to bring peace to them.
The same crowds who cried out “HOSANNA! ON PALM SUNDAY, CRIED “CRUCIFY HIM!, later that week. The will of the Father was fulfilled on Golgotha where he died. Then, it seemed that all hope was gone, but John records a scene in heaven that features THE ETERNAL “CELEBRATION” of the RISEN LORD.
AT DAWN on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. As she turned around tearfully, she saw someone unrecognizable standing there. When he called her by name she recognized and knew it was Jesus. Immediately she sought to tell his disciples that she had just seen Jesus alive.
HALLELUJAH! HOPE ROSE WITH THE DAWN!