Passion Week 2023: Palm Sunday
Holy week or Passion Week, the week of Easter is a time each year where we pause, reflect, and give thanks to the gift we have received in Christ. Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday. On this day we remember Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem days before His crucifixion. Read Matthews account of the Triumphant Entry.
When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.”
This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
Tell Daughter Zion,
“See, your King is coming to you,
gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt,
the foal of a donkey.”,
The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their clothes on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their clothes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. Then the crowds who went ahead of him and those who 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 he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Matthew 21:1–11 (CSB)
This is a Messianic prophecy from Zechariah 9:9. "Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Matthew portrays Jesus with humility and meekness.This is in contrast to the coming Messiah that the Jews were awaiting. Rather than a warhorse or a military leader or King, Jesus makes His entry on a donkey. A symbolic act designed to show that He is indeed the Messiah, but a Messiah whose triumphal journey leads to suffering and sacrifice, not a show of force and power.
Zechariah points out three things concerning our Messiah. 1 Peter 3:18 says, "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God." Christ, sinless and righteous, died for us, the unrighteous and sinful, that we might have a relationship with Him. Christ is victorious. He has conquered sin and the grave. Because of Him, we can also have victory today over sin and as we allow His power to work in and through us. Thirdly, our Savior is humble. The righteous and victorious King rode to Jerusalem on a donkey showing his humility and showing that He was willing to lay down His life for mankind.
As we look towards Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday let us remember the humility and sacrifice of Jesus.