Sunday, March 28, 2021

Letters from Larry: Palm Sunday

 

Good Sunday Afternoon Everyone:

Today is Palm Sunday as well as the Beginning of the Jewish celebration of Passover. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Christian Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment.

The hundreds of people shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Palm Sunday is a moveable holiday meaning its date changes each year based on Lent and the spring equinox. Many churches celebrate Palm Sunday with the waving of palm branches, singing traditional hymns, and making crosses out of palm fronds. But while this is a triumphal entry, it is Jesus’ first step toward His death.

Palm Sunday Fast Facts

·         Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week and celebrates

·         Jesus as the Messiah

·         the Biblical account of Palm Sunday is found in all four Gospels:

·         Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19

Passover

The original Passover, found in the Bible, is a memorial to God passing over the houses of the children of Israel when He killed the firstborn of man and beast in Egypt. This miraculous event and its meaning occurred during the night of the fourteenth of the Hebrew month Nisan.

On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will PASS OVER (from where we get the term Passover) you . .. (Exodus 12)

The Bible meaning of the Passover, for the New Testament Christian, revolves around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is a memorial of his death as the true Lamb of God. Believers partake of unleavened bread and wine in remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus' beaten body and shed blood. This sacrifice makes possible the forgiveness of our sins.

Passover lasts for a week just like the Christian Holy Week.

5 Things about Palm Sunday that Remind Us

Christ is King

1. God's Word tells us the people cut palm branches and waved them in the air, laid them out on the ground before Jesus as He rode into the city.

The palm branch represented goodness and victory and was symbolic of the final victory He would soon fulfill over death. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Cor. 15:55

2. Jesus chose to ride in on a donkey, which directly fulfilled Old Testament prophecy of Zech. 9:9. In Biblical times, it was common for kings or important people to arrive by a procession riding on donkey. The donkey symbolized peace, so those who chose to ride them showed that they came with peaceful intentions. Jesus even then reminded us that He is the Prince of Peace.

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! 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." Zech. 9:9

3. When the people shouted "Hosanna!" they were hailing Christ as King. That word actually means "save now," and though in their own minds they waited for an earthly king, God had a different way in mind of bringing true salvation to all who would trust in Him.

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!"Ps. 118:26 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Rom. 10:9

4. The Bible says that Jesus wept for Jerusalem. In the midst of the praise of the moment, He knew in His heart that it wouldn't be long that these same people would turn their backs on Him, betray Him, and crucify Him. His heart broke with the reality of how much they needed a Savior.

"As he 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." Luke 19:41-42

5. Palm Sunday reminds us that the reign of Christ is far greater than any the mind of man could ever conceive or plan. Man looked for someone to fight their battles in the present day world. Yet God had the ultimate plan of sending His Son to fight the final battle over death. This is the greatness of why we celebrate this week. Because of Christ's ultimate sacrifice, we can be set free of death.

"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,'  John 11:25

We have so much to be grateful for this week. The enemy knows that, and you can bet, he's going to do everything he can to try and distract us away from the true meaning of what this Holy Week means. Don't let him win.

In this Holy Week, may God direct our thoughts and attention towards what matters most, Jesus Christ our King...

Let's choose to focus on worshipping our Lord, thanking Him for the gift of His sacrifice, celebrating the power of the Resurrection, and the new life found in Him alone. Grace. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Cor. 9:15

Palm Sunday Scriptures

Zechariah 9:9 - 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.

John 12:12-19 - The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, Hosanna! ”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

Luke 19:11-44 - “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

May God Bless YOU and YOURS!

Much love and Shalom to Our Jewish readers as you begin Passover.

Larry

 

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