Why Do You Wave Palms?

Why Do You Wave Palms?

We are entering into the Holy Week by celebrating Palm Sunday by remembering the day Jesus rode to Jerusalem to fulfill his destiny. While doing so Jesus fulfilled also the prophecies of the Old Testament.

“Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!
Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem!
Your king is coming!
a good king who makes all things right,
a humble king riding a donkey,
a mere colt of a donkey.
I’ve had it with war—no more chariots in Ephraim,
no more war horses in Jerusalem,
no more swords and spears, bows and arrows.
He will offer peace to the nations,
a peaceful rule worldwide,
from the four winds to the seven seas.”
(Zechariah 9:9-10, MSG)

“But everyone who lined the streets had a different reason for waving those palms. Some were political activists; they’d heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule. Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing. Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do, while others were genuine followers who wished Jesus would establish himself as an earthly king. Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why he was going to Jerusalem – to die. He had a mission, while everyone else had an agenda.” (Bill Hybels) Where are you in this picture? Why are you waiting for Jesus?

“When Christ entered into Jerusalem the people spread garments in the way: when He enters into our hearts, we pull off our own righteousness, and not only lay it under Christ’s feet but even trample upon it ourselves.”(Augustus Toplady) Where are you in this picture? What are you laying down?

“We wave palms because we have long awaited God’s deliverance and now we’re within seven days of it. We wave palms because Jesus shows us life-saving answers when we feel crushed by problems threatening to overcome us. We wave palms because Jesus has set us free from the destructive longings of our fallen nature. We wave palms because, like the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem and gave thanks for their healing by Jesus, we too can really be healed in body, mind, and spirit.” (Kevin Gray) Where are you in this picture? Why are you waving palms?

After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.'” The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?” They said, “His Master needs him.” They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street. Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!” But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” (Luke 19: 28-40, MSG)

So let’s not keep quiet! Let’s praise the Lord for sending us his son! Let’s praise Jesus who entered Jerusalem to die on the cross for our sins! Let’s praise the Lord forever and ever!

“I worship you Lord! You did not enter your holy city Jerusalem on the back of a war horse, but humbly and on a donkey. You knew that you were surrounded by murderers, yet you came in peace, and by your sacrifice you would utterly conquer death before the week had passed. You, oh Lord, are blessed and worthy of my praise. You have saved your people. I say, “You are my king!”… I long to live in the city where you sit on the throne! Establish your Kingdom, so that your people can live in peace. Jesus, I bow before you, and I will sing your praises until your Kingdom comes and is established, and forever after.” (David Maddalena)

 

Gracious God,
We praise you and we love you!
Thank you for sending your son to die for us.
Thank you for loving us so much!
Be praised forever and ever!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What does Palm Sunday mean to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you enter the Holy Week! Open your heart wide open for Jesus!

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

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