Palm Sunday is one of those church days that many people are not really sure about. It’s typically observed with children marching through the sanctuary (or other type of place of worship) waving palm fronds that children’s leaders have probably searched out high and low the day before.
The Triumphal Entry- A Foretaste of His Second Coming
In Scripture it’s called the Triumphal Entry, and it’s a very big deal. Big enough that it is written about in all four of the Gospels, explicitly pointing back to the prophecy from Zechariah that is being fulfilled. This is the event where Jesus presents Himself publicly as the Messiah as He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.
We call it Palm Sunday because the people lining the roads cut branches from the trees and laid the branches on the road for Him. Many had already laid their cloaks on the road, and together with the branches had created a path for the donkey to travel on, an honor that was often displayed for royalty.
I got to thinking about Palm Sunday this week. One day as I was driving to work, my Pandora radio station randomly played one of my favorite songs, The King Is Coming. Every time I hear a song such as this, I am reminded how much closer we are to Jesus’ return. These reminders fill me with longing and excitement for my faith to be made complete.
The parallels between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem the week prior to His death on the cross and His anticipated second coming are vivid to me. The donkey, a symbol of peace, will be replaced with a white horse, the symbol of war (Rev. 19:11). The first time He came, His mission was to die on the cross for our sins, and to defeat death by His resurrection. When He returns, it will be to ultimately defeat Satan and evil and to establish His Kingdom. In Jerusalem, the people threw their cloaks on the ground before Him. As His glorified Church, we will throw off these earthly bodies and be clothed with “fine linen, white and clean.”
Learning to Worship
The cloaks and the palms were an act of worship as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. As we consider His return, consider that Heaven is a place of constant, eternal worship. I’m convinced that during our time here on earth, learning to worship Him should be priority. Often modern worship is defined by being emotionally moved, it’s very much a “me-centered” activity. True worship begins with surrender of our desires, our wills, our worries. It is truly a discipline, as it requires of us to completely empty ourselves of anything other than adoration for God alone.
Dwelling in the Expectation of His Return
When we experience true worship, we are left with joy, with hope, with a sense of peace, because those are the gifts that God provides for His people. There is such security in dwelling in the expectation of His return.
Are you ready? Are the people that you love ready?
This Palm Sunday, as you worship our King, set your heart to pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.”