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.” At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
The next day, after Jesus had been anointed by Mary with expensive perfume, he begins His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The triumphant entry is one of the few events in Jesus’ ministry that is recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11; Luke 19:28–40 and John 12:12–19). In these few verses, there are many hidden treasures and fulfillments of prophecies from the Old Testament about Jesus the Messiah.
Jesus was riding on a donkey, which was symbolic of royal authority coming in peace. Jesus could have easily made the walk, as was His normal custom, but He is making a statement here to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
The people made a path of branches for Jesus to enter the city as royalty. They are waving palm branches, which were considered symbols of peace and victory (Nehemiah 8:15).
Palm branches were also used as symbols of victory and kingship. By meeting Jesus with palm branches the crowd showed they were welcoming Him as king. Earlier in His ministry, Jesus avoided crowds who wanted to make Him king (John 6:15), but now He is accepting their gesture and its significance.
The crowd shouts, “Hosanna” in Greek, which is adapted from a Hebrew expres- sion that means, “save now” and “help now!” They also shout, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:25-26)
The people made a path of branches for Jesus to enter the city as royalty.
Sit back and soak in the Palm Sunday experience. Imagine the swarms of people in the energized crowd; clamoring over each other to see Jesus. Jesus is riding on a colt, people are laying down palm branches before Him and others are waving palm branches towards Him. The shouting of blessings and hope about Jesus are ringing in the air. Optimism and joy are flooding the streets of Jerusalem. Join in the celebration of Jesus being your King of Kings by spending a few minutes praising Jesus for what He has done in your life thus far and what is to come. Carry this thought of celebration and praise towards Jesus with you throughout the day. You can do this through breath prayers. A breath prayer is an ancient Christian practice dating back to at least the sixth-century. They are short, simple prayers that can be said in a single breath and repeated numerous times throughout the day.
Here are some ideas of breath prayers to get you started. Inhale, “Blessed is He,” and then exhale, “who comes in the name of the Lord.” Inhale, “Jesus,” and then exhale, “You are my King.” Inhale, “Jesus,” and then exhale, “I praise you.” Inhale, “He is good;” and then exhale, “His love endures forever.” Inhale, “I will give thanks to you, Lord,” and then exhale, “with all my heart.”