What is Palm Sunday | Holy Week / Passion Week | GotQuestions.org

What is Palm Sunday | Holy Week / Passion Week | GotQuestions.org


Question: “What is Palm Sunday?” In this video, we’ll go to the Bible for
the answer, then afterwards, I’ll point you to some helpful resources. So stick around until the end! Palm Sunday is the day we celebrate the triumphal
entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, one week before His resurrection. As Jesus entered the holy city, He neared
the culmination of a long journey toward Golgotha. He had come to save the lost, and now was
the time—this was the place—to secure that salvation. Palm Sunday marked the start of what is often
called “Passion Week,” the final seven days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end”
of Jesus’ work on earth. Palm Sunday began with Jesus and His disciples
traveling over the Mount of Olives. The Lord sent two disciples ahead into the
village of Bethphage to find an animal to ride. They found the unbroken colt of a donkey,
just as Jesus had said they would. When they untied the colt, the owners began
to question them. The disciples responded with the answer Jesus
had provided: “The Lord needs it.” Amazingly, the owners were satisfied with
that answer and let the disciples go. “They brought [the donkey] to Jesus, threw
their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it” Luke 19:35. As Jesus ascended toward Jerusalem, a large
multitude gathered around Him. This crowd understood that Jesus was the Messiah;
what they did not understand was that it wasn’t time to set up the kingdom yet—although
Jesus had tried to tell them so. The crowd’s actions along the road give
rise to the name “Palm Sunday”: “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road” Matthew 21:8. In strewing their cloaks on the road, the
people were giving Jesus the royal treatment—King Jehu was given similar honor at his coronation. John records the detail that the branches
they cut were from palm trees. On that first Palm Sunday, the people also
honored Jesus verbally: “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed
shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ / ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of
the Lord!’ / ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:9). In their praise of Jesus, the Jewish crowds
were quoting Psalm 118:25–26, an acknowledged prophecy of the Christ. The allusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment
from the religious leaders present: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus,
‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” (Luke 19:39). However, Jesus saw no need to rebuke those
who told the truth. He replied, “I tell you . . . if they keep
quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). Some 450 to 500 years prior to Jesus’ arrival
in Jerusalem, the prophet Zechariah had prophesied the event we now call Palm Sunday: “Rejoice
greatly, Daughter Zion! / Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! / See, your king comes to you, / righteous
and victorious, / lowly and riding on a donkey, / on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah
9:9). The prophecy was fulfilled in every particular,
and it was indeed a time of rejoicing, as Jerusalem welcomed their King. Unfortunately, the celebration was not to
last. The crowds looked for a Messiah who would
rescue them politically and free them nationally, but Jesus had come to save them spiritually. First things first, and mankind’s primary
need is spiritual, not political, cultural, or national salvation. Even as the coatless multitudes waved the
palm branches and shouted for joy, they missed the true reason for Jesus’ presence. They could neither see nor understand the
cross. That’s why, “as [Jesus] approached Jerusalem
and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this
day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies
. . . will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of
God’s coming to you” Luke 19:41–47. It is a tragic thing to see the Savior but
not recognize Him for who He is. The crowds who were crying out “Hosanna!”
on Palm Sunday were crying out “Crucify Him!” later that week. There is coming a day when every knee will
bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The worship will be real then. Also, John records a scene in heaven that
features the eternal celebration of the risen Lord: “There before me was a great multitude
that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before
the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding
palm branches in their hands” Revelation 7:9 These palm-bearing saints will shout, “Salvation
belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (verse 10), and who can
measure sum of their joy? Hungry for more? Subscribe so you don’t miss the next video! Visit GotQuestions.org for more great content. And check out the details section below this
video: There are several links to related articles, along with one to a book I recommend. If you’d like to learn about Bible Munch,
or if you’re interested in Bite-sized devotionals, subscribe to Bible Munch on YouTube. Remember, got questions, the Bible has answers, and we’ll help you find them!

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