In Christendom today Palm Sunday is the celebration of the day that Jesus entered into the holy city of Jerusalem on a donkey declaring Himself as Israel’s Messiah. We read about this event in Matthew 21:1-11 which I will quote in full: “Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘God into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them.’ All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey.’ So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others CUT DOWN BRANCHES FROM THE TREES AND SPREAD THEM ON THE ROAD. Then the multitude who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!’ And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’ So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (NKJV).

History was being made at this time, for this “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 (which is quoted in verse 4). The people SEEMED to recognize this for when they saw the Lord Jesus they honored Him as a King by spreading a royal carpet of clothes and PALM BRANCHES before Him. This was a custom in that day when one was being acknowledged as their King. In addition they raised their voices in praise exclaiming “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest.” The nation of Israel had been waiting for the “Son of David” (David’s “greater Son” who was to rule forever over Israel—see 2nd Samuel 7:8-16) and it SEEMED to them that the time had come. In Mark’s account of this grand event we read that they said, “Blessed is the KINGDOM OF OUR FATHER DAVID that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” This suggests strongly that they thought the long-awaited kingdom would now be established and that Christ (i.e. Messiah) would sit upon the throne of his father David.

If we read on in Matthew 21 we see that this “celebration of the king” was to be short-lived. The very next day “Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves” (verses 15-17). It was obvious that the religious leaders of that day had no heart for Christ or God’s temple; they cared more about MONEY than they did the MESSIAH! His cleansing of the temple enraged them and thus in verse 18 we read, “And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him because all the people were astonished at His teaching.” Yet in just a few short days they would get their wish, for they would turn Him over to Pontius Pilate to be crucified, and even the people, who had honored Him as their King, would cry out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” (John 19:15).

In closing, I would draw your attention to “SIX WORDS” that were left out of the quotation of Zechariah’s prophecy in Matthew’s passage. In Zechariah 9:9 we read, “Behold, your King is coming to you; HE IS JUST AND HAVING SALVATION.” Matthew was inspired by the Holy Spirit to leave those six words out because this was NOT the time for Jesus to bring salvation to the nation of Israel due to their rejection of Him. When the people called out “Hosanna” (which means “SAVE now”—see Psalm 118:25-26) they had hoped Jesus would “SAVE them from the Romans who were ruling over them,” but as we saw their fickle hearts would soon be clamoring for His death. The fulfillment of those six words will be at Christ’s SECOND COMING when He comes on a “white horse” to destroy Israel’s enemies and to rule over all nations as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (see Revelation 19:11-16).  (369.5)  (DO)