The only way you can be delivered from that sin is to have your false expectations destroyed, once and for all. And that is precisely what happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Jesus drew the false, sinful expectations of the world unto himself, absorbed them, and bore them on the cross. His death was the death of all of our false expectations, and therefore his death was the death of sin itself. The false piety of Palm Sunday is crucified on Good Friday and buried that night, in order that true faith in God might be created on Easter through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was not only the glory of Yahweh returning to his Temple; he was also the new David, indeed Yahweh himself, reclaiming his city and preparing to deal with the enemies of Israel. He fought, of course, not in the conventional manner. Instead, he took all of the dysfunction of the world upon himself and swallowed it up in the ocean of divine mercy and forgiveness. He thereby dealt with the enemies of the nation and emerged as the properly constituted king of the world.
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.
We wave palms because we have long awaited God’s deliverance and now we’re within 7 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.
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.
Practically everyone has known the taste of Palm Sunday, the sweetness of success and popularity, and nearly all of us have tasted the bitterness of Good Friday, of failure and rejection. What saves us from an endless round of ups and downs, what frees us from the tyranny of events over which we have no control is our commitment to press forward in obedience to God -it is trust in God’s love to bring about Easter morning, – knowing that the meaning of life is to be found in the knowledge and love of God,- and in sharing that knowledge and love with those who accompany us on the way.
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.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon the garments and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men do to them for the sake of Jesus.
No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.
The entrance into Jerusalem [on Palm Sunday] has all the elements of theatre of the absurd: the poor king; truth comes riding on a donkey; symbolic actions — even parading without a permit! Also, when Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” what was involved was direct action, an open confrontation and public demonstration of the incompatibility of evil with the Kingdom of God.