Reflections and Thoughts
on the Meaning of Palm Sunday
What's the meaning of Palm Sunday?
If you don't know the story, be sure to read the Palm Sunday story
During the last week of his life, Jesus showed without a doubt that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Messiah, he is truly the son of God, he is truly God. He fulfilled every prophecy, even the way he rode on a colt of a donkey on the first Palm Sunday.
On that first Palm Sunday, Jesus was proclaimed by the people the Messiah. He worked many miracles, proving his authority, including curing the blind and healing the crippled in the Jerusalem temple during that week.
He is our Savior, who suffered and died on the cross for our salvation. He is our Redeemer, satisfying the justice of God, and redeeming us from sin and slavery to the devil.
Then on the third day he rose from the dead by his own power, proving to all that all his claims are true.
Jesus has authority.
Palm Sunday Brings Up a Big Question
The purpose of Palm Sunday is not just the story, not just what happened 2000 years ago, but what you and I are right now doing about it.
Whose authority are you under? This is the big question. It's one of the biggest questions you will ever be asked. How you answer, and how you live accordingly, has very great consequences, and will set the course of your destiny forever, for all eternity. What you choose is the hitting-real-close-to-home meaning of Palm Sunday.
Simply, do you obey his authority?
A Day of Decision
Truly Palm Sunday is a day of decision for each and every one of us.
There is no question, every single one of us without exception, is under the authority of another, whether we like it or not, whether we want to admit it or not. There are no exceptions.
Even Jesus was under the authority of his Father. Even the Heavenly Father is under the authority of the Holy Trinity. Even the Holy Trinity has to follow rules of divine justice, mercy, love, order, etc.
The big question is, whose authority are you under?
Palm Sunday is the day we acknowledge once again we are under the authority of Jesus Christ.
Not Just Words
Just saying it is not enough.
It is necessary to prove it by our actions, by the way we live. Otherwise, we will suffer terrible consequences.
Jesus warned that now everyone who says "Lord, Lord!" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of his father in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
Going Against the Grain of Selfishness
Today, we live in a world of selfishness, self-sufficiency, independence, and pride. So many people have the attitude, "Nobody's going to tell me what to do!"
Unfortunately, this selfishness, this "narcissism" (total self-absorption, "me, me, me, the whole world revolves around me) is how criminals become criminals, how tyrants become tyrants, who brutally violate the rights and dignity of other people.
It is to save us from the tyranny of ourselves, the chains of sin that tightly bind us, that Jesus came to show the only better way.
The Best Authority Arrives
Jesus says his "yoke" of authority is easy and sweet, his "burden" of rules is light. (Matthew 11:30)
Jesus came into the city, riding on a humble donkey. Usually a military victor came in procession on the finest horse, or riding a fancy chariot, or sitting in a big carriage, or even carried by men.
He did this to show that he came to befriend and save ordinary people, not just the high, mighty, and arrogant rulers of his day.
Imagine the president of a country today arriving in just a regular old car!
Jesus' yoke and burden is certainly a lot sweeter and lighter than that of the Satan and all his devils, who are liars and deceivers.
What is Your Choice?
- In this life, they tempt people, showing the worldly lifestyle as attractive and good, when in reality it does not satisfy, it cannot bring true happiness, it is only an illusion.
- They make promises they will not keep.
- Eventually, because they are so evil and wicked, they will show their true colors, turning into some of the most vicious, brutal, torturing tyrants in existence - for all eternity - over those who fall into their traps, despite the repeated warnings of Jesus and his ministers.
We make our choice by the way we live - much more than by what we say.
So who are you paying attention to? Who do you believe?
Jesus asks you, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36)
Jesus also warns that the thief has come into this world to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus has come to give life and give it abundantly. (John 10:10)
And Jesus calls the devil a murderer from the beginning. (John 8:44) And calls himself the Good Shepherd, because he lays down his life for his sheep. (John 10:11)
Will the devil ever do that for you? Will the devil take the burden of you sins away? Can the devil take away your guilty conscience, the worm that will never die as long as you are in sin, the fire of hell that will never be stopped? (Mark 9:44, 46, 48)
Even David, the king in the bible old testament, acknowledges a higher power (Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36). We are familiar with the well-loved 23rd Psalm written by David, "The Lord is my shepherd ...."
A Foretaste of God's Full Kingdom
When Jesus was arrested the night before his death, he said to his captors that it was their hour and the powers of darkness. (Luke 22:53)
Today, it is not always possible to live under a Godly temporal authority. In many instances, the places of authority are held by mini-tyrants, under the rule of Satan, the lord of this world.
But the day will come, when God will exercuse complete spiritual and temporal (physical) authority, and grant a share in it to those he chooses, on earth, as it will always be in heaven forever.
In fact, we pray this in the "Our Father", the very prayer Jesus taught us to pray.
"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2)
Palm Sunday - A Day of Faith
Yes, in this life, it is an act of faith to follow the authority of Christ, his teachings and example, and obey his laws. And yes, we just can't get faith on our own, because it is a gift from God. (John 4:10; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8)
But we can do the things necessary to receive this gift, especially repenting of our sins, and simply asking God for it. Faith requires a humble heart. God resists the proud, and gives his grace to the humble." (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5)
Our faith is based on solid reasons. Out of hundreds of bible prophecies written hundreds of years before he came, Christ alone fulfilled every single one. He worked many astounding miracles. He refuted every accusation against him, won every possible argument. He died for the truth of what he said, and in the entire universe is the only one who has ever raised himself from the dead - exactly as he predicted.
Palm Sunday - A Reminder of Hope and Vindication
On Judgment Day, every knee will bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus is Lord. In heaven, on earth, and under the earth. (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10-11)
One day, all must acknowledge his authority, both the good and the wicked, whether willing or not, whether they like it or not. Those who laughed, mocked, and persecuted Christ and his followers will have to acknowledge the truth.
We often think how God will vindicate the good. The faithful who have been saved. Really, we don't deserve vindication, because we are sinners.
But what about Jesus? He was completely innocent, completely without sin.
God's justice demands a full and infinite vindication of his own son, Jesus.
The next people to be vindicated are most likely Jesus' own parents, his mother Mary and foster father Joseph.
Because of the cruel tyrant Herod, they had to flee to Egypt to protect the child from certain murder by order of Herod. They spent about 7 years in Egypt. Joseph lost his job, his workshop, and his source of income, and had to start over.
Also because of Herod, many innocent children were slaughtered.
A reminder that today, many innocent children are slaughtered by abortion.
Let's pray that those who are guilty repent and receive God's forgiveness before it's too late.
On judgment day, we will see the perfect balance of God's justice and mercy applied to each individual, according to how they lived.
Hell is simply something we would not want to wish on our worst enemy, which is why Jesus wants us to love our enemies, bless those that curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who unlawfully use and persecute us. (Matthew 5:44)
Hell is so dreadful, it should cause us tears.
Palm Sunday - A Reminder of Vindication for Jesus' Followers
Those who follow Jesus will also be vindicated. Another Herod killed James the apostle, and then threw Peter into prison. An angel delivered Peter. Herod ordered the jail keepers killed because of this. (Acts 12)
Sometimes, even here on earth, we see God's swift vindication. And so we read that shortly after, God had enough of his crimes, and he died eaten by worms.
Making the Wise Choice
It is far better to acknowledge the authority of Christ now while we live here on earth, follow his teachings and example, and live by his rules.
But sometimes, the only way we get the message, is to see how God punishes, and then do what is necessary to protect ourselves by avoiding what is evil and doing what God asks.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Job 28:8; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10, 15:33)
A Foolish Decision
The other option, for those who reject Christ, and don't follow his teachings and example, will be to suffer eternally in hell, and still be forced to acknowledge, with bended knee, the universal authority of Christ.
Jesus knew the horrible consequences of those who, refusing his authority, would by default be under the rule of Satan.
On the very day he was welcomed into the city of Jerusalem, he went out of the city, and looking at the city, he wept over it. He wished they knew the way of peace, but because they rejected the opportunity God gave them, he predicted terrible things would happen to them.
This was fulfilled 37 years later in 70 AD when the Romans surrounded the city, starved the citizens, eventually broke through the walls, and destroyed every building. They killed so many people that blood ran down the streets in little rivers. Every man, woman, and child who survived they sold into slavery.
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