We celebrate Palm Sunday again today and remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The crowds praised God as He rode into the city and we can note at least three aspects of their praise:
- There was great rejoicing – Luke records that “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices” (19v37). All participated in the exuberant worship, in continuous praise, because the King of kings was in their midst. He is equally with us today, through the Holy Spirit – may we all “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4v4).
- Their focus was redemption – the crowd’s praise echoed with the cry “Hosanna” which literally means “Save we pray”. Over 500 years earlier Zechariah had prophesied about this day: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (9v9). Our praise, also, is totally centred on Jesus, who saves His people from their sins (Matthew 1v21).
- There were, however, questions over the reality of their worship – Matthew records that many in the crowd saw Jesus purely as a prophet (21v10,11). They hadn’t appreciated that here was God’s Son in their midst, on a Divine, not human, rescue mission. Sadly it is also possible that some in that crowd, in a few days’ time, might have cried out “Crucify Him” in place of “Hosanna”. May our praise today – and indeed every day – be real; may we be worshippers in spirit and in truth (John 4v24), irrespective of what the crowd thinks and believes.
Peace and Grace