Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds were so excited that Jesus was entering the city, they cut branches and took off their coats and laid them in His path, making a runway for Jesus and the donkey He rode.
The crowds greeted Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Hosanna is a Hebrew word that means, “Save, Lord!” The people were calling on Jesus to save them. They were celebrating the coming of a King. It was a spectacle that created quite a stir in the city!
The Palm Sunday crowd almost certainly believed Jesus was going to be their earthly king. They anticipated a coming Messiah (Anointed One) who would restore the nation of Israel to independence. They hoped Jesus would set them free from the occupation of the Romans.
But here’s the catch. Jesus did not enter Jerusalem to raise an army and throw off the oppression of Rome. Jesus entered Jerusalem to go to a Cross and die for the sins of the world. He would not settle for being king of Israel. He came to be King of kings and Lord of lords! Jesus entered Jerusalem to battle a far greater enemy than Pontius Pilate’s Roman cohort. He entered Jerusalem to battle the evil one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus’ mission was not to break the power of Caesar. His mission was to break the power of sin and death!
The King who entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey holds another title—Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) When this Prince fully inherits His Kingdom, it will be a Kingdom of peace. The Hebrew word is shalom, and it means complete well-being. The Prince of Shalom brings peace with God, peace with ourselves and peace with others. His perfect Kingdom will even restore perfect peace with nature.
Here is a Palm Sunday encouragement and hope for us, today: We do not have to wait until we die and go to Heaven to have this shalom—this peace. The Kingdom of Jesus is established in the hearts of His followers when we entrust our lives to Him by faith and walk with Him in obedience. Peace starts now!
Our rebellion against God and insistence that we be the god of our own life ends when we make Jesus King of our lives, and we have peace with God. Fear and anxiety over the future fades away when Jesus is the One who holds our future, and we find peace within ourselves. Tense relationships are healed through an infusion of forgiveness and love as Jesus rules in our hearts, and we have gain peace with others—even becoming peacemakers in the world!
Jesus, the King of kings and Prince of Peace, grants a deep, victorious peace the world can’t give, and can’t take away!
Hosanna, Lord Jesus! Save us from sin, from ourselves and from the brokenness of our messy lives. King of kings and Prince of Peace, come into my heart and rule there in perfect shalom. And use my one human life to make peace in my world. Amen. May it be so.