Hosanna! It Is Our Palm Sunday! Is Our Jesus Our Center or Periphery of Life? John 12:12-19

John 12:12-19 Amplified Bible

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day, when the large crowd who had come to the Passover feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took branches of palm trees [in homage to Him as King] and went out to meet Him, and they began shouting and kept shouting “Hosanna! Blessed (celebrated, praised) is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; just as it is written [in Scripture], 15 “Do not fear, Daughter of Zion; Behold, Your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16  His disciples did not understand [the meaning of] these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him. 17 So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to tell others about Him. 18 For this reason the crowd went to meet Him, because they heard that He had performed this [miraculous] sign. 19 Then the Pharisees [argued and] said to one another, “You see that your efforts are futile. Look! The whole world has gone [running] after Him!”

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.

Open your Bible to John’s gospel chapter 12.

We have come to the last week of Jesus.

On Saturday, He had been in Bethany with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in the home of Simon the ex-leper.

Then on Monday, He left Bethany, and headed towards Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey.

Soon the people took palm branches and shouted: John 12:13 “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” Blessed is the King of Israel.”

So, when Jesus comes into the city of Jerusalem on this occasion with the word going everywhere about raising Lazarus from the dead, they are all thrilled and have broken off their palm branches, waved, hailed the arrival of Jesus as king.

John 12:13-15 Amplified Bible

13 they took branches of palm trees [in homage to Him as King] and went out to meet Him, and they began shouting and kept shouting “Hosanna! Blessed (celebrated, praised) is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; just as it is written [in Scripture], 15 “Do not fear, Daughter of Zion; Behold, Your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

In John’s narrative account of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem, the crowd shouts the right things about Jesus, “Hosanna! blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel” but we soon find out that even Jesus’ disciples really “did not understand all this.”

Then we read in the very next verse that His disciples were mysteriously blank.

They didn’t realize the true gravity of this event was a prophetic fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) until after Jesus rose into heaven.

Zechariah 9:9 Amplified Bible

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King (Messianic King) is coming to you;
He is righteous and endowed with salvation,
[a]Humble and unassuming [in submission to the will of the Father] and riding on a [b]donkey,
Upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The crowd had come out to meet Jesus only because they had seen or they heard that Jesus had raised someone named Lazarus from the dead earlier.

And the Pharisees saw Jesus’ popularity as a threat to their own power and position (John 11:47-50; 12:9-11).

Why do or did you come out of wherever it is you live to attend Palm Sunday?

Were you aware of the words of prophecy of Zechariah 9:9?

Are you at Palm Sunday worship service because you only briefly heard of Jesus?

Do you even know of the name of Lazarus and his biblical connection to Jesus?

Are, were you, there because it is an “old family tradition” of uncertain origin or because being there is fulfilling a favor to someone even though you do not, have no plan to believe in God, the Father or God the Son or God the Holy Spirit?

Or are we those who consider ourselves totally committed loving GOD 1000%?

It’s easy to think that we would do better.

It’s easy to think that we know who Jesus really is.

But most longtime followers of Christ would agree that Jesus is a mystery.

He is not any easier to get to know than anyone else we might meet.

In fact, we wouldn’t be wrong to assume that it would take more effort to know the Son of God than to know anyone else.

And yet we can grow to know Jesus.

We can acknowledge that Jesus spends more time as an out layer of our life.

We can recognize where, when Jesus spends too much time on our periphery.

Our relationships with our family members, with our neighbors, co-workers.

Our relationships with strangers on the streets, our fellow communities of faith in our shared efforts to provide volunteer services, meals, a glass of cold water.

We can learn how to gradually move Jesus into the center of our lives where we are the ones who are most eager to not just wave our Palms but to lead Jesus in.

Taking the reins of the colt while Jesus sits next to us on the colt and enters in.

Setting the pace of the colt with Jesus sitting on its back.

Crowds of people see, witness our lives at the center of where Jesus is coming.

Directed display of Discipleship in action.

It takes time to move out from the crowds, work on our part, we are not alone.

The Spirit of Jesus himself comes into our hearts, teaches us (see John 16:7-15).

By the Holy Spirit, John and the other disciples eventually did understand what was going on here, what their closeness and proximity to Jesus meant to others.

And as we diligently study the Bible as God’s living Word, asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we can grow, greatly mature to know, experience Jesus too.

It can take some mightily significant work, but the Holy Spirit will help us, and there is no better relationship to invest in than our relationship with our King.

Palm Sunday … Jesus is Being Led into the City

Palm Sunday is a Christian celebration that marks the beginning of the Holy Week leading to Easter Sunday.

It commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, when people laid down palms and branches in front of him as a sign of honor.

In modern times, churches hold Palm Sunday services in which assembled worshippers are each given a palm branch or cross made from palm leaves.

The celebration involves singing hymns, reading Scripture, and sometimes even a parade or procession with the palms around the church or community.

Palm Sunday is a timeless reminder of the selfless love Jesus showed by laying down his life for us, entering directly into the center of our lives and it is a time to reflect on our own lives, how we can show that same love to those around us.

Palm Sunday is the day we each remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as our coming Savior and King.

As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem, a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches, their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Palm Sunday is a moveable holiday that changes yearly based on Lent and the spring equinox.

Many churches celebrate Palm Sunday by waving palm branches, singing traditional hymns, and making crosses out of palm fronds for the children.

But while this is a triumphal entry, it is Jesus’ first step toward His death.

Many churches celebrate Palm Sunday.

Maybe your church has their member congregants, the children, even complete strangers collectively waving palm branches to help them connect to the story.

But while this is our triumphal entry, it was Jesus’ first step toward His death.

Matthew 21:4 tells us:

‘This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’

*The prophecy is cited from Zechariah 9:9 and Isaiah 62:11.

Palm Sunday Bible Story – Triumphal Entry

Matthew 21:1-11 – Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

In this closing of this Lenten season as we reflect on the sacrifice of Christ, we see him riding a donkey as he comes to Jerusalem as King.

This animal was symbolic of humility, peace, and King David’s royalty (see also King Solomon’s Procession 1 Kings 1:33).

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to show everyone publicly that he was the chosen Son of David (another name for the promised Messiah).

We might have expected a stallion.

But this surprising King rides a donkey.

Jesus identifies with the the common man and woman, with the lowly of heart.

The kingdom of God is totally different from the here-today, gone-tomorrow kingdoms of the world.

Don’t mistake this King on a donkey for the kind of ruler we usually see in this world.

From Jesus we learn that being a king in God’s kingdom is about service and humility.

A king serves.

So, as we fulfill our own calling, we will serve the Lord, we serve one another.

As we live by the guidance of the Spirit, visit people who are sick, care for those who are poor, feed the hungry, and we will learn to love our neighbors as much we love our God, we are servant kings and queens of the kingdom of heaven.

That is when we are most like Jesus, when Jesus finds His way delicately weaved into the center of our lives who calls us to reign with him today and for eternity.

Jesus once came riding on a donkey.

Next he will come riding on the clouds of heaven to reign over us, claim us as His own, to live with us in the new heaven and earth forever (Revelation 21- 22).

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

On the heels of this, another Palm Sunday, as we begin this Holy Week, may we constantly, centrally, be reminded of its significance, value for our lives today.

That very important day in history, when Jesus centered Himself directly, and decisively into the eternal affairs of man, began His journey towards the cross.

Yet maybe again, ultimately centrally, amid busy lives, on the heels of Spring Break, or in all the upcoming thoughts about Easter, the real central meaning of it may, even unintentionally, get missed – again – until the next Palm Sunday.

One day, Palm Sunday will be an every day celebration of the centrality of Jesus!

His Word becomes central, reveals such great truths in every part of this story.

Truths that draw us closer towards Christ, reminding us that He alone is King…

Palm Sunday reminders Centering Christ as Our King

1. God’s Word tells us the people cut palm branches, waved them in the air, and laid them out on the ground before Jesus as He rode into the city.

The palm branch represented goodness and victory and was symbolic of the final victory He would soon fulfill over death.

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

2. Jesus chose to ride in on a donkey, which directly fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah. 9:9.

In Biblical times, it was common for kings or important people to arrive by a procession riding on a donkey.

The donkey symbolized peace, so those who chose to ride them showed that they came with peaceful intentions.

Jesus even then reminded us that He is the Prince of Peace.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah. 9:9

3. When the people shouted “Hosanna!” they were hailing Christ as King.

That word actually means “save us now,” and though in their own minds, they waited for an earthly king, God had a different plan of bringing true salvation to all who would trust in Him.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!” Psalm 118:26

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

4. The Bible says that Jesus wept for Jerusalem.

Amid the praise of the moment, He knew in His heart that it wouldn’t be long that these same people would turn their backs on Him, betray Him, and crucify Him, truly His heart broke with the reality of how much they needed a Savior.

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42

5. Palm Sunday reminds us that the reign of Christ is far greater than any man’s mind could ever conceive or plan.

Man looked for someone to fight their battles in the present day world.

Yet God had the ultimate plan of sending His Son to fight the final battle over the grave and death itself.

This is the greatness of why we celebrate this week.

Because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, we can be set free of death.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,'” John 11:25

We have so much to be grateful for this week.

The enemy knows that, and you can bet, the enemy will do everything he can to distract us from this Holy Week’s true meaning.

Don’t let him win.

In this Holy Week, I fervently pray may God direct our thoughts and attention towards the exact center what and who matters most, Jesus Christ our King…

Let’s choose to center our focus on worshipping our Lord, thanking Him for the gift of His sacrifice, celebrating the power of the Resurrection, and the new life found in only one place, being the exact, exacting center of Him and Him alone.

Let us center our day, celebrate Palm Sunday as the crowds that greeted Christ that day, singing Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

O Lord Jesus Christ,
when you entered Jerusalem,
great crowds waved palm branches and cried “Hosanna.”

Save us now from our sins,
and make us to rejoice in you,
our only Redeemer;

through your mercy, O our God,
you are blessed,
and live and govern all things,
now and forever. Amen.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.


Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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