“Palm Sunday”


Christians have designated the Sunday before Resurrection Sunday as “Palm Sunday.”  It is referred to in this way because on this Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion He was met as He entered Jerusalem by a very exuberant crowd who carried the branches of palm trees.  Though Jesus had come to Jerusalem at other times during His earthly ministry, there was something very different about this trip.  He entered the city riding on a donkey (Mat. 21:1-11).  As far as we know, He had never ridden one before this time.  What was the significance of Jesus coming into Jerusalem on the back of this beast of burden?  The Bible provides the answer.  “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’” (Matthew 21:4-5).  In fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and by doing so He officially presented Himself to Israel as their Messiah.  It was at the time of the Passover Feast and there were multitudes of people gathered there.  There was what might be described as a Messianic fervor as the excited crowds welcomed their King.  They cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!  Hosanna in the highest!”  But the shouts of enthusiastic reception turned to shouts of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” just a few days later.