What Is Palm Sunday & Why Do Christians Celebrate It?
“They held palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ (John 12:13)
Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus’ entrance into the Holy City of Jerusalem, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies such as 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 cold, the foal of a donkey.”
“Those words- written 575 years earlier- predicted that when the Messiah came to Israel, he would come riding on a donkey,” writes Dr. Ray Pritchard. Jesus riding in on a donkey was significant, not only to fulfill prophecy but to assume His status as royalty. Otherwise, He could not have commandeered an animal of someone else’s, recorded in Matthew 21:2-3. The people cheered, “Hosanna!” which means “save,” as Jesus rode into the city. “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Mark recorded in his gospel account, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 1:9-10, ESV)
Christians celebrate Palm Sunday as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Messiah Jesus came from the line of David, just as God promised. The long generational line, and all of the very human things that happened- both good and bad …including seventy-year exile- rode through the streets that day in Jerusalem. God’s plan was always forgiveness for His people, and Jesus came to earth as a substitutionary sacrifice on our account. We are forever forgiven and saved eternally when we come to God through Christ. He made a way. We celebrate who Jesus is …both then as He rode into the city, and now as He sits at the right hand of God.
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