Why Palm Sunday Matters

Today in church history, we celebrate Palm Sunday, the day in which Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is the day which marks the beginning of what we refer to as Holy Week. Jesus rode into the city on a colt only to be crucified a few days later.

On Palm Sunday, the crowds cried to Jesus, “Hosanna!” or save us as He entered the city. On Friday, that very same crowd cried, “Crucify Him!” leading to His execution outside the city.

Why did the cry of the crowds so drastically change in such little time?

The King We Don’t Want

For centuries, the Hebrews had awaited their coming king from the line of David. The king was to restore power to God’s chosen people after their years of living in oppression.

This was the king they wanted.

This is why they cried for Jesus to save them. The Hebrews desired for Jesus to be their sovereign king, bringing their people from their lowly socio-economic state and restore their nation to political power.

Essentially, they wanted Jesus to make the circumstances of their everyday life better. Unfortunately, this was not Jesus.

They thought He was coming to take up His crown. Little did they know He would first need to take up His cross.

The King We Need

The Jews thought they needed Jesus to take over the city. In reality, Jesus came not to take over but to lay down His life for the sins of many. Their need was not a political or socio-economic restoration but a spiritual redemption. The oppression the Jews had endured for centuries couldn’t compare to the opposition they faced against God because of their sin.

Some of us approach God in a similar manner, don’t we?

We tell God what we in our limited understanding think our needs are. We, then, demand that He perfectly meet every single one of them. If He doesn’t fulfill these “needs,” we deem Him either as unjust or not real.

But is it reasonable to conclude that God is unjust or not real just because God doesn’t make our lives play out scene-for-scene exactly as we think they should? Is it so ridiculous to think that the infinite God of the universe Who crafted literally everything knows more about our needs than we do?

Jesus may not have been the king the Jews wanted but they absolutely needed Him. Similarly, He may not always be the Savior we want but He is always the Savior we need.

While we may not always understand why God does or doesn’t do certain things in our lives and in this world, Palm Sunday reminds us to trust God even when it doesn’t make sense.

There are eternal reasons for temporary circumstances.

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