Today’s Bible passage is the Palm Sunday story, but it is much more meaningful than simply receiving a palm frond at a church service. This story from Matthew 21 represents “the falling of the first domino” in a series of events that will ultimately defeat the devil and redeem the world.
Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
’Hosanna in the highest!”
In this passage, Jesus reveals four important truths about Himself that we need to apply to our lives:
1. Jesus is Lord. (v.3)
Jesus reveals Himself as the Lord. He is in charge, whether you recognize it or not. We don’t “make” Jesus Lord by our belief in Him; He is Lord and has been the Lord for much longer than any of us have walked the earth.
He doesn’t belong to us – we should belong to Him. When we belong to Jesus, He takes responsibility for us and cares for us.
We have a choice to yield to His lordship or resist it. Have you surrendered your life completely to Him? He doesn’t belong to us – we should belong to Him. When we belong to Jesus, He takes responsibility for us and cares for us.
2. Jesus is King. (v.5)
Jesus sends his disciples to get the donkey for His entry into Jerusalem, which fulfills a then 500-year-old prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) and announces Jesus as the long-awaited King. The Jews understand this message, shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” and they recognize Jesus as heir to the throne, the new King. But this doesn’t mean what they expect it means. The Jews of the day were waiting for a political king to come in, battle the Romans, and restore them to a glorious nation. They didn’t realize how great a King Jesus actually was. The Bible calls Him the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He came not to fight the Romans, but to defeat the devil, sin, suffering, hell, and the grave. His coronation was on the cross with a crown of thorns. He waged war on the cross and rose from the dead in eternal victory. Through Him, the Bible says we are “more than conquerors” and that the very gates of hell cannot stand against us.
Are you living in defeat and failure, or have you embraced Jesus as your ultimate triumphant King?
3. Jesus is the Savior (v.9)
As the crowd shouts “Hosanna,” this means “save now.” The crowd is looking for a savior but they don’t realize he is THE Savior. He saves as no one else can: completely and eternally. His salvation is perfect and complete. He saves us not only from things, but to things:
From darkness to light
From the power of Satan to the power of God
From sin to righteousness
From guilt to forgiveness
From shame to dignity
From ignorance to understanding
From hatred to love
From fear to faith
From doubt to assurance
From works to grace
From lies to truth
From lost to found
From bondage to freedom
From broken to restored
From orphan to adopted
From worthless to treasured
From death to eternal life
Only Jesus saves this way! There is salvation in no other name than the name of Jesus.
The people present at Jesus’ triumphant entry didn’t understand to depth of Jesus’ salvation. Do you? Are you still living in bondage to sin, captive to the world? Or are you allowing Jesus to transform your life completely?
4. Jesus is God with us.
Jesus does not stop at being our Savior. Salvation is not the end, but a means to an end – a relationship with God. He offers not just a clean slate, but a personal, intimate, loving relationship with God Himself.
Jesus’ last stop on Palm Sunday is the temple, which has always been the representation of God’s presence on earth. Jesus is the very embodiment of God with us (“Emmanuel”). As Jesus overturns the tables in the temple courtyard, He is not simply angry with the commerce happening there, but is actually overturning the whole process for the forgiveness of sin. For everything in the temple and everything associated with the rituals of the forgiveness of sin actually pointed to Jesus. Even the Passover itself, God’s decisive act of redemption, was fulfilled by Jesus’ crucifixion, forgiveness for the whole world through the death of his one and only Son, once and for all.
Can you be real with Jesus today? We all have problems, sin, struggles, and baggage – and He knows all about it. He’s prepared to help you with it. Don’t live with the lie that it’s ok to live in bondage. If you haven’t accepted His lordship in your life, do it today! God wants to heal you and give you freedom and abundant life through His Son!