Palm Sunday has always piqued my interest. As a kid growing up, I was envious of the churches which gave out palms. Ours did not which often left me wondering if I was missing out on something important.
Years have passed. I have grown up and now attend a church which does give out palms. I am discovering, it really was not the palms which made me curious.
It is the story of Palm Sunday. Or maybe the posture of Jesus and the response of the people …
He humbly sits on a donkey to enter Jerusalem. He does not come galloping in on a white horse ready to save the day. No, He enters on an animal, a donkey’s colt we are told, which only has one speed – slow.
The crowd of people respond spreading their garments on the road, waving branches and shouting …
“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
Be sure and check it out for yourself in Matthew 21. There was so much commotion, we are told the entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar (verse 10, NLT). And the people all ask a most critical question …
“Who is this?”
And this is where Palm Sunday gets me – Every. Single. Year.
“Who is this?” The question each of us needs to determine for ourselves.
- Who is Jesus?
- What place will He hold in my life?
Let’s go back to the story of Jesus …
A few days later, Judas betrays Jesus. The various trials and examinations begin. Jesus ends up in front of Pilate. Again, we find Jesus in the middle of a crowd, maybe even some of the same people.
Pilate looking for an out, offers the people the choice of setting free a notorious prisoner, Barabbas, or Jesus.
The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” Pilate questions, “Why?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
The crowd continues yelling. Similar to the day Jesus entered Jerusalem just days before, the crowd is again in an uproar.
Only this time, the crowd turned on Jesus. How could just a few days have changed their minds from praising and worshiping Jesus to wanting Him dead?
I’ve wondered how I would have responded that day?
Seriously. Would I have stood my ground and yelled for Jesus to be freed? Even if I were the only one? Or would I have gotten swept up with the opinion of the crowd?
Here is what I am realizing …
We all need to have a made up mind regarding Jesus or we will be swept away by the opinions of the crowd.
We must determine who Jesus is in our life and have that nailed down in our minds, no pun intended. The only way we will not go along with the crowd is to know, from the tops of our heads to the soles of our feet, who Jesus is to us. It is only then we will stand firm, unmoved by the crowd.
For one day, this very same Jesus will indeed come galloping on a white horse to save the day ….
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True.
On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” (Revelation 19:11, 16, NLT)