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!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowd answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” — Matthew 21:9–11
Today is Palm Sunday, and the air is filled with excitement and anticipation. Around the world, believers gather and children wave palm fronds, adding their voices to the initial celebration surrounding Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, remembering and honoring His triumphal entry into the city.
On the one hand, the story of Palm Sunday is one of great joy and celebration. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds waved palm branches and shouted praises, welcoming Him as the long-awaited Messiah. It was a moment of triumph and jubilation, a time to rejoice in the coming of the One who would save us all.
But on the other hand, the story of Palm Sunday is also one of tension and sorrow. As Jesus made His way through the crowds, He knew His time on earth was ending. He knew he would soon be betrayed, arrested, and crucified. And so, even as the crowds cheered and celebrated, Jesus must have felt a sense of sorrow and lament.
It’s this tension that makes the story of Palm Sunday so powerful. From one vantage point, we have the crowd’s joy and celebration; from another, we have the darker realities of Jesus’ impending death. It’s a reminder that even amid our most incredible triumphs, there can be sorrow and lament. The tension also serves as a reminder of how quickly people can shift their praise. The same voices that shout worthy one day can quickly, with the next breath, shout, “crucify him.” Leaving us to ask, which voice will we be?
Every day, there is a triumphal entry in our hearts where we are invited to declare Christ as our Savior. This declaration is more than words but also a partnership with Jesus to bring justice and equality to the world.
In his name.
Under his precepts.
With voices united in his name — not divided.
Much like the original Palm Sunday, Jesus daily enters into our pageantry to remind us that the marginalized and oppressed are still crying out for justice and equality, just as the Jewish people were during the time of Jesus.
“Palm Sunday is a time of celebration, but it is also a time of reckoning. It is a time to reflect on our own complicity in the systems of oppression and injustice that led to Christ’s crucifixion and to renew our commitment to justice and compassion.” — Walter Brueggemann.
As we reflect on this day, do not overlook the tension in the story. Let’s recognize the personal triumphal entry that takes place in our hearts daily and remember that our shouts of various notions can never be more significant than the sound of praise due to the Savior. Let us celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and strive to fulfill His mission of bringing justice and equality to all people.
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord
PS — I also wanted to share with you a Palm Sunday playlist. Filled with uplifting and reflective worship songs, this playlist is designed to help you draw closer to God, and experience His love and grace in a deeper way. Whether you are looking to prepare your heart for Easter, or simply want to worship and praise God in this special season, this playlist has something for you.