Monday, April 15, 2019

What Palm Sunday Is All About?

Should We Celebrate Palm Sunday?

Question: What Palm Sunday is all about? Should we celebrate Palm Sunday?

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

Generally, Palm Sunday means the Sunday before Easter, on which Christ's entry into Jerusalem is celebrated in many Christian churches by processions in which branches of palms are carried.

The often referred context verse to wish one another regarding Palm Sunday is,
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matt 23:29) which is a prophecy fulfilled and rewritten in the New Testament to indicate the referred Scripture from the Old Testament Book of Psalm 118:26. It is a Messianic psalm which spoke about the future Messiah and His Kingdom on earth. 

Let Us Get The Context Right

Because Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, let us see what is the occasion that created it.

Let us read from the Scripture,
"1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5 “ Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” 11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” 12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” 14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise’?” (Matt 21:1-16).

Jesus always understood the exact timing of God in which God wanted him to fulfill the Scriptures through his life. He also clearly guided the disciples under him for the exact fulfillment of the Scripture to be a part of it because of much prayer for Himself and also for them. Horses were the respectable animal of war and prestige and honor to ride on for a king. But because Jesus was humble in heart, he could easily understand that the beast of burden the donkey was the one which God has chosen to fulfill His Word through his life, and in doing so he was revealing to the people who will welcome him that he had come in peace and not in anger to conquer over anyone or anything as His Kingdom is from above and not beneath
(Zech 9:9).

We come to learn that only humility makes us receive the grace of God to make us understand His Word and also fulfill it
(Jam 4:5-6). True disciples of Jesus are those who will see the miraculous happen to them and all others around them when they go and do just as Jesus tells them.

While Jesus sat on the donkey and set towards Jerusalem, because the moment the donkey came to Jesus these disciples came forward voluntarily to offer their own clothes to be put on the donkey to make Jesus set on it. For the great King of Heaven and Earth to use the clothes that others used needs great humility to receive it. Those might be the only costly clothes these simple people might have been having, but when they offered it for Jesus to sit, it set a chain reaction where people who saw Jesus immediately
"spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road" to welcome Him to the city of the Great King Jesus Christ (Matt 5:35). What can we learn from this? If we are willing to sacrifice what we have with us for Jesus, God will begin to move the hearts of people to make them sacrifice for Jesus and set a chain reaction like a dominoes that keep passing on to touch the life of more and more people around to fulfill the will of God through their lives too. What a privilege to inspire others to obedience through our life.

Then we see a little time later multitudes going before and also followed Christ Jesus. When we stand in the will of God through faith, not only the Scriptures will begin to fulfill through our lives and become a blessing to inspire others, but we also come to a higher place where we can get a Divine revelation of who Jesus is in reality to us. When Divine revelation came to people from God about Jesus, they began to shout,
“Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

We can only shout praise when God in His mercies begin to reveal things to us. Only those who are saved could receive the true Divine revelation of the Father even when they are not learned people (Matt 16:16-17; Luke 10:21-24). Even simple people without education when they are humble, God can easily use their life for His Glory when they make themselves available to Him. God does not need able men to show fort His praise and Glory, but available humble men and women who are ready to obey Jesus and worship Him to honor Him for who He is.

When these men and women were shouting forth the praise of Jesus, the world begins to see Jesus in His Glory and then dare to ask, 'Who he is?', but only those who are saved by Jesus could recognize Him as their Messiah and also for the nation of remnant Israel (Gal 6:16), all others when they see the great glory of Jesus, they could only go to the extent of recognizing Jesus as the prophet only and these will be the ones who will kill him a week later by crying out to say 'Kill Jesus and release the criminals' (Luke 11:47; Matt 23:29-33; 27:15-17, 9-26). Woe to those who condemn the sinless Jesus, the curse for His blood shed will be on their head and the head of their children!

Those who commercialize the relationship with God to make it a religious business place to try to make a profit out of it will be driven out by the anger of the Lord out of His temple, these are those who wear the sheep clothing but within they are unsaved ravenous wolves
(Matt 7:15). When Jesus steps in to the temple of God to drive out the unsaved people who make a commercial business out of it, they who are making a respectable business will not see their own mistake but will feel indignant to see Jesus glorified because within they have a spirit of Antichrist working strongly that becomes unsettled by the light of Jesus to make them reach like this, and also this anger against Jesus is because they feel threatened to go out of business which they have made the Father's House of prayer to be. God's house becomes a den of thieves when Satan begins to deceive people through religion instead of a personal relationship with God.

Jesus will always rebuke prideful religion and its attitude because it makes people to become deceived to be taken away from the true relationship that the Heavenly Father provides freely to those who are willing to follow Him in humility. All those who will come to Jesus in humility, He is always willing to heal both their sick bodies as well as their sin sick souls. God has chosen to perfect the praises of His name through the mouth of babes and nursing infants who are humble enough to follow Jesus where ever he goes. We cannot but praise God for all His wonders when we see Jesus in all His glory. Praise will infuriate the demons residing in the religious unsaved, because they remain in darkness and they do not have the capacity to comprehend the truth. Those who practice lawlessness remain in darkness and will always hate the light of God and the truth even when God graciously brings it to them. They hate light because they love darkness and want to practice lawlessness to remain in it.

In the Book of Luke we see the same incident where Jesus replies further to these religious unsaved indignant priests and scribes who told him to rebuke his disciples who were calling Him the Messiah of Israel, he replied,
"if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40). The stones were the Gentile believers who will come to life when the Jews reject Jesus and choose to stay quiet after His death, resurrection and ascension, after which just as told prophetically by Jesus we as the living stones continue to praise Jesus as our Messiah, and this is what has been fulfilled for the past two thousand years nearly (Rom 11:20-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10). Christ is not Jesus' second name, but rather it means 'The Messiah' who is the anointed One. Thus we the Gentiles who have not seen Him, yet have believed Him to be the Messiah and Lord of our lives through the mercy and grace of God, thus we have become more blessed to be the part of the Church than those who have seen Him and believed who were the Jewish saints from the nation of Israel who were later united in to the one new man of the Body of Christ the Church (John 20:29; Eph 2:14-19; Gal 3:28)

Thus Palm Sunday is all about declaring Jesus as our Messiah and the Lord of our lives to worship Him openly and confess Him before even the unbelievers to bring glory, honor and praise to His name. Therefore it can be a great occasion to rejoice and confess our Jesus the Christ among the believers and also before the unsaved world as a testimony of the Divine love of the Father God towards their lives too.

It is good to speak about this wonderful truth on Palm Sunday to remember Jesus our Messiah and say,
"Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!" We celebrate the faithfulness of our Father God in Christ Jesus who has delivered us from sin to receive eternal life of friendship with our Father in heaven. We through our Messiah Jesus we celebrate Palm Sunday and welcome him again and again in to every part of our lives through praising and thanking Him for all He has done for us!

Hallelujah! It was common practice in the ancient world to welcome home a king or war hero by laying out a path of branches for him to ride/walk on - similar to rolling out the red carpet today in English-speaking countries. Romans honored champions of the games and the military with palm branches and also God commanded his people of Israel use the fruit of splendid trees, the fronds of palm trees and the boughs of branchy trees and poplars of the torrent valley to be used as a mark of rejoicing before the Lord during the Festival of the Booths which is also very symbolic to declare the Lord of Israel as their King and the only King
(Lev 23:40; Deut 16:13-15). Thus when we rejoice specially remembering our Lord's Kingship on the Palm Sunday over our lives and all other days of the year daily, to further declare by the Holy Spirit that we are in the Kingdom of God and that we are thankful to God for making us a heavenly citizen for eternity ahead for His Glory (Php 3:20-21).

Therefore we can use the above branches of trees to likewise rejoice symbolically before the Lord confessing Him as our Messiah and Lord on the Palm Sunday for the Glory of God! You can always spice up the Church services with a united procession without making it only as a tradition, which when continued without much thoughtfulness makes the Word of God become powerless because of its lack of heart involvement
(Mark 7:13). God is very much pleased with us only when the heart is involved in worshiping Him in spirit and truth, the likes of people whom He is always in search of to honor and set them apart for His Glory (Matt 15:8; John 4:23-24).

Much Blessings...


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