The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
Palm branches were strewn all along the road as history’s oddest procession made its way through the streets of Jerusalem. And the crowd was delighted.
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
So much truth was taking place just below the surface. Did they realize that Zephaniah’s prophecy was playing out before their eyes? This man on a donkey was actually the One they had been promised – their Messiah. Appropriately, they shouted “Save us now!” And passing by, on his way to do just that, was “the Mighty Warrior who saves.” The Lord their God was with them, but sadly it was hidden from their eyes.
Rumor had it that Jesus had just raised somebody named Lazarus from the dead, and that brought out the curious. But even the disciples misinterpreted that parade, even as they secretly jockeyed for positions of power when this “Jesus coup” finally took place. “It can’t happen soon enough,” thought Peter, with his sword strapped to his side. Then again, the use of a donkey had to confuse them. Jesus deserved better than that. How could they possibly understand the eternal significance of what was taking place?
And yet, this very moment had been prophesied. 500 years before the first Palm Sunday, the prophet Zechariah made no attempt to hide his enthusiasm for this first Palm Sunday.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ZECHARIAH 9:9
This coming Sunday, Palm Sunday, with our eyes wide open, we can rejoice greatly. We can shout in triumph, knowing the significance of that parade, and what was to come, the events of that week, and a resurrection that would change everything.
May the Lord help us to enter in fully to the joy of our salvation this Passion week.