In Catholisism, Palm Sunday is an important holiday… Or maybe pre-holiday? Not sure exactly how it’s defined, as I’m not Catholic. While I have many doctrinal differences with the Catholic religion, (maybe I’ll write about that some day…) I don’t deny that there are some things I can learn from them.
Rather than re-hash my previous post and share why I don’t like the traditions surrounding Easter, let me share some of the things I like to think about going into the holiday.
WHAT IS PALM SUNDAY?
Despite the dangerous and rebellious atmosphere in Jerusalem, and against the good advise of His Apostles to stay away, Jesus risked the wrath of the Romans and returned to Jerusalem in the days leading up to the Passover. The Romans were wary of insurrectionists and were arresting anyone they thought were trying to cause rebellion. The leaders of the Jews had already deliberately sought to paint the Savior as a leader of rebellion, and so His return to the Holy City was dangerous. Combined with the influx of celebratory Jews, the city was bursting with anxiety, rejoicing, and even rebellion.
When he came, he rode on the back of an ass, the kingly mount of the ancient Jews, and his followers laid palm leaves at his feet before him, reveling and shouting in praise, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus was indeed a leader of a rebellion, but rather than political insurrection, he led a rebellion against the natural man: urging His disciples to wholly reject the sinful world, and follow him in His perfection. Here He declared Himself as the promised Messiah, the Son of God, and the Heir of David. Here the throngs of Jews proclaimed His holy name, and blessed His coming.
So Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphant return of the Savior to the Holy City, and introduces the week leading to the most horrific day in human history, and culminated in the breaking of the bonds of death.
This week, prepare to celebrate Easter, let’s think less of the eggs and bunnies, and remember He who is worthy of our praise. With those in Jerusalem, let us cry “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”