This coming weekend, Christians all around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday where we recognize that just a few days before he was crucified, Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem with people shouting words of praise and adoration. Two of the Gospel descriptions of this event are considered independent accounts thus lending enormous historical credibility to the truthfulness of the event. However, the thought I want us to consider as we prepare for reflecting on the Triumphal Entry is not simply that the event happened, but why it happened? What was so significant about Jesus entering Jerusalem that all four Gospel writers decide to include this account?
Undoubtedly, at least one reason for its prominence is that the early disciples firmly believed in the identity of Jesus as King. For example, John indicates that this event fulfilled the words written by the Hebrew prophet, Zechariah, 500 years before the birth of Jesus: “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” This week our minds are filled with images of waving palm branches, voices raised in praise, and a King riding triumphantly into Jerusalem knowing that in just days, the branches would become a whip, the praises would become accusations, and the triumph would appear to be defeated in death.
As we approach Palm Sunday and Easter and prepare our hearts to celebrate the glorious triumph of King Jesus, I would like to encourage you to prayerfully reflect on the following questions:
1. What does it mean for Jesus to be King?
2. How should the recognition of Jesus as King affect our understanding of the story of the Gospel?
3. Are there areas of your life that need to be placed in submission to the Kingship of Jesus? If so, what are they?
4. How can the authority and reign of Jesus be seen in the private and public events happening today?
Scriptures to Study
1. John 1:43-51
2. John 18:28-37