Palm Sunday: The Triumphal Entry

I am so excited to go through and study the story of Easter together. It’s so crazy to me how in one week, Jesus went from having a royal entry into Jerusalem today, on Palm Sunday, to dying on Good Friday and then raising from the dead on Resurrection Sunday, Easter Sunday. Over the course of this week, we will take it day by day through His journey, reading and studying what the Word of God tells us about this week.

*Please note: I did find that there were some discrepancies with the chronological order in the gospels, for Monday- Wednesday, but I did my best to follow in the book of Matthew and research as best I could; this is my interpretation of when things happened on those days. And just as a reminder, I am NO Bible expert, rather learning right alongside you through doing my best to understand the word and interpret it’s meaning.

Palm Sunday is the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where he was recognized and treated as the King He was. Matthew 21:1-11 has the story for us, let’s read it together:

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 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. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “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.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

What stood out to you from these verses? Was there a scripture that caught your attention? Write it down and why you think you paused over that verse.

In this passage, how is Jesus being treated?

We read here that he was publicly recognized and treated like a king, by a large crowd, according to our scripture. We can understand this from verse 8, when scripture describes people throwing their cloaks and palm leaves onto the road for Jesus and the donkey to walk on, this is how a king would be treated! Although Jesus is King, in the Bible, there are only a few scriptures that actually present him as such, and verse 8 is one of them.

I have to admit, when I was first a believer and heard the name Hosanna, like we do in our scripture today, I didn’t understand it’s meaning, let alone the significance of how it was being used here. When the crowd was shouting “Hosanna”, they were calling him Savior. I found a definition of Hosanna to mean “Please Save Us”, to save or deliver. They are recognizing Jesus as their Savior and Deliver. The people knew who he was and in this moment they celebrated him as such! In fact, verse 10 in our passage tells us the WHOLE city was stirred, meaning excitement filled the WHOLE city as they saw Jesus, and they responded with “This IS Jesus!” Hallelujah, right? I love this. This is a time in history that everyone had been waiting for, for Jesus to come.

Did you know this very moment, in detail, that Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a colt (baby donkey) was prophesied, told about, in the Old Testament? Look at Zechariah 9:9 with me.

The Coming of Zion’s King

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

What do you notice is similar to our main passage in Matthew 21?

Not just the detail of the way Jesus came into Jerusalem, but also the rejoicing and recognition of who he is; this was talked about before Jesus was ever even born.

Our application showed us another place where we see this same prophecy, Isaiah 62:11, we see the same words of praise of who Jesus is.

The Lord has made proclamation
    to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.’”

Like so many other prophecies, Jesus fulfilled this one, Jesus was/is/always will be, the Messiah! 

I can’t help but wonder how Jesus felt in this moment. Looking around seeing all these people he loved so much, recognizing him as king, the excitement ahead of what He knew He was going to teach them, yet the hurt he may have had knowing what was going to happen, but loving them all anyway. Not even a week later, these are the same people that will turn against him – in my opinion from the pressure of the people in power who disagreed with Jesus or people were scared of him and his possible higher power. Whatever it was, today is special, because we get to see Jesus celebrated as the King we all know He is.

Write out a couple thoughts on what this passage means to you; how studying this affects your view of this day; what do the prophecies about this day change for you; and how do you think Jesus was feeling?

Heavenly Father, Lord, what a beautiful day today is. Jesus is the King and recognized as such. Hosanna in the highest. Thank you for this moment. Thank you for the prophesies that you gave before Jesus. Thank you for the detail in your word, to the very way that Jesus would enter, so that there was no doubt that this IS Jesus! Help us to live today and everyday, with the understanding of Jesus’ heart. He knew what was about to happen, but he lived in the moment, and he LOVED everyone! Help us live a life more like Jesus! In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

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