The Sunday before Good Friday and Easter is Palm Sunday. It’s a day in which the church reflects on the moment when Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem, riding a donkey. During the celebration people are waving with Palm branches. What was actually happening here? What did people think and understand then?
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21: 6-9)
Everything Jesus did was different than people expected. In the things He did He seemed like the God-controlled deliverer. But not like they expected this deliverer would act. The Jews knew the scriptures of the old prophet who said that God’s king, when He was to come to Jerusalem, will be “humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9: 9).
Watch what happened on Palm Sunday as written in the Gospel of John:
Crowned as king.
Jesus showed in everything that He is the Son of David, the king who was sent by God and had been waiting for so long. He was king and would sit on the throne. He would be crowned in his own capital. The people understood this and were incredibly happy. It is like the atmosphere at the coming liberation of the enemy. You might know the scenes at the end of the Second World War. People are frenzied with joy to flag and to be happy. It looks like this entry. Jesus is the God-led king and is on his way to take place on the throne. The people along the road were making banners of palm branches and lay it on the ground like a beautiful carpet, together with their coats. This is a worthy entry for the new king.
A deeper plan
But it is just a little different than people expected. This Jesus is on his way to his throne and He will be crowned. But his throne was a cursed cross, and his crown was woven with branches full of thorns. Where were all the crowds now? Where the frenzied joy?
You need to understand Jesus not only became king of the Jews, but the king of all that lives! Jesus does not save from the Roman rulers but saves from the oppressive power of sin.
What happened on Palm Sunday was no mistake. Only the sequel to Palm Sunday, with Good Friday and Easter, was a big surprise for everyone and then misunderstood!