Palm Sunday 2024

By Ps Vernon Quek

Why does Palm Sunday matter? What would you say if someone asked you to explain what Palm Sunday means and why it matters to you?

Most of us know that Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry on a donkey into Jerusalem, the beginning of what is known as Passion (or Holy) Week. This event was significant enough that it is recorded in all four Gospels. Look with me at the account from John’s Gospel:

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel![1]” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt![2]” [3]

It’s good for us to dig a little deeper and ask: of all the things they could have done to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, why did the crowds specifically cut Palm branches of all things? What was going through their minds when they did so?

Palm branches were significant in those days because they were part of the annual Feast of Booths – the feast the Lord commanded Israel to observe every year to remember how He delivered them out of Egypt (when they lived in booths in the wilderness).[4]

In other words, those crowds, by taking Palm branches to welcome Jesus, were declaring Him to be God’s King, God’s chosen One, who would bring about an Exodus-level deliverance from enslavement and captivity.

Sadly, those crowds in Jesus’ time expected that the deliverance would be from the oppression of the Roman Empire, and missed the greater Deliverance that Jesus had come to fulfill on the Cross – salvation from sin and Death!

Do we rejoice in what Jesus triumphantly headed towards that first Palm Sunday? Do we long for the Day that He will come to completely fulfill the victory of the Cross?

May Palm Sunday this and every year until our King Jesus returns be cause for rejoicing in our hearts – that He has delivered us and all Creation from the greatest enslavement and captivity of all: from sin and Death!

[1] Quoted from Psalm 118:26 (ESV)
[2] Quoted from Zechariah 9:9 (ESV)
[3] John 12:12-15 (ESV)
[4] Leviticus 23:40

You may also like...