This Sunday many Christians around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday. At our church this will involve kids ages 3-10 waving palm branches as they walk to the front of church to sing a few songs. Some will be timid, some will be joyful, some quiet, some loud, maybe some jumping. The congregation will delight in watching them sing their praises.
The kids songs remind us of Jesus entry on a donkey into Jerusalem, where the crowd gathered waving palm branches and rejoicing that their Lord had arrived. The followers assumed Jesus would take an earthly throne where he would reign over and save them. They were right that Jesus came to save them, but wrong about how and the events of the week that would unfold. I wonder what Jesus thought as he rode on the donkey? He knew that in the coming week he would die on a cross. He loved the people before him, but knew they didn’t understand. Jesus came to fulfill everything that was prophesied years earlier, even the ride into Jerusalem was foretold in Zechariah 9:9, “ Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.” (NLT) Jesus was fully human, feeling all the emotions we feel today. I wonder as he entered Jerusalem what was going through his mind? We can’t really know that, but we do know he went willingly, because he loved those around them, just as he loves us. I would imagine he enjoyed the ride on the donkey seeing all the faces of those gathered to greet him at the gates of Jerusalem.
Did you know that we’ll get to wave palm branches again when Christ returns? This was something I had overlooked, but I’m excited for the day when we will all gather together and wave our palm branches. Check out this scripture found in Revelation 7:9-10 “After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (NLT) What a glorious day it will be when we all join together with our palm branches and sing praise to our Lord.