When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday throngs of people followed Him. There are four components of that special day I would like to look at, and then make an observation about modern-day Christians.
Palm Sunday Was a Day of Danger
The edict had been signed and the Sanhedrin was in agreement that this Jesus of Nazareth should be put to death. His growing popularity, especially since the resurrection of Lazarus, had caused the crowds to turn to Him increasingly. Now that Jesus approached Jerusalem itself, He was placing Himself in the lion’s den of a hateful religious system.
Palm Sunday Was a Day of Duty
The disciples, at the behest of Jesus, untied another man’s colt and brought it to Jesus. What faith! Not only on the part of the disciples, but also on the part of the owner of the colt who was simply informed that the Lord had need of it. God expects His people to obey Him dutifully whether or not they entirely understand the “why” of the matter.
Palm Sunday Was a Day of Declaration
The people unabashedly declared Jesus to be the King, and they excitedly cried “Hosanna!” Their casting down of their cloaks indicated their submission to Him as sovereign, and their cries of “Hosanna” demonstrated that they believed He could save them (hosanna means “save now”). Like them, we have much for which to praise the Lord Jesus today.
Palm Sunday Was a Day of Dismay
In stark contrast to the joyous celebration of the crowd were the tears of Jesus Himself as He stopped and viewed the city of Jerusalem. He saw the people of Jerusalem as those who had rejected His message and who even now—on what should have been their special day—were on the verge of total destruction. Christ’s lamenting prophecy was fulfilled in just one generation when the Romans attacked and ransacked Jerusalem, killing many and leaving the temple in total disrepair.
And to make matters even worse, when the Palm Sunday crowd actually entered the city, they no longer praised Him vocally. Only the children praised Him in the harsh city of religiosity.
I guess we suffer from the same kind of fear-driven hypocrisy today: praise Him on Sunday when the crowd with whom we worship is in full agreement, and then grow eerily silent when we enter our own Jerusalem on Monday.