Palm Sunday is the Celebration of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the beginning of the last week of His ministry.
Luke 19:28-40(HCSB) 28 When He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples 30 and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So those who were sent left and found it just as He had told them.33 As they were untying the young donkey, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the donkey?”
34 “The Lord needs it,” they said. 35 Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their robes on the donkey, they helped Jesus get on it.36 As He was going along, they were spreading their robes on the road.37 Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen:
38 The King who comes
in the name of the Lord
is the blessed One.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest heaven!
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”
John explains the same the scenario but puts more emphasis on the fulfilment of the mesainic prophecy.
John 12:12-19(HCSB) 12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One—the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Fear no more, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt. 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18 This is also why the crowd met Him, because they heard He had done this sign. 19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look—the world has gone after Him!”
The prophecy fulfilled in Zechariah 9
Zechariah 9:9(HCSB) 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.
As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost (Luke 19:10), and now was the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.
Luke 19:41-47 (HCSB) 41 As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it, 42 saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come on you when your enemies will build an embankment against you, surround you, and hem you in on every side.44 They will crush you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”45 He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling, 46 and He said, “It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!” 47 Every day He was teaching in the temple complex. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy Him, 48 but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.
There is coming a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10–11). The worship will be real then. Also, John records a scene in heaven that features the eternal celebration of the risen Lord:
Revelation 7:9-10(HCSB) 9 After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
Salvation belongs to our God,
who is seated on the throne,
and to the Lamb!
These palm-bearing saints will shout, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (verse 10), and who can measure sum of their joy?
The crowds who were crying out “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were crying out “Crucify Him!” later that week. Matthew 27:22–23(HCSB) 22 Pilate asked them, “What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Messiah?” They all answered, “Crucify Him!” 23 Then he said, “Why? What has He done wrong?”But they kept shouting, “Crucify Him!” all the more.
Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25(ESV), which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!”. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”
So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their address “Son of David.” Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save.
Jesus is the only one that can save us. We can not, our works can not, no one else can, He and He alone is able to save us. John Owen said, “To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect.” But why?
Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.
Scripture reveals human character which is contrary to what humans think about themselves:
- Man’s heart is evil. Mark 7:21-23(HCSB)21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit,promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
- Man’s heart is deceitful and incurable Jeremiah 17:9(HCSB) The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?
- Man is a slave of sin Romans 6:16-20(HCSB) 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness.
- He does not seek for God Romans 3:9-18(HCSB) What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, 10 as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
- He cannot understand spiritual things 1 Corinthians 2:14(HCSB) 14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
- He is hostile to God Romans 8:7(HCSB) 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
- He is by nature a child of wrath Ephesians 2:3(HCSB) 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
“In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”
The Father calls, the Son redeems and the Holy Spirit applies salvation.
Please note that all spiritual blessings are IN CHRIST, that the Father chose us IN CHRIST, that He predestined us to adoption as sons IN CHRIST. God elects according to his good pleasure but he gets the job done through Jesus Christ.