Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Passion Week where we reflect on the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. The Gospel writers tell how the week began with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. People greeted him waving palm branches as he rode on a donkey. They threw their coats and branches on the ground, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel” (John 12:13, ESV).
They expected Jesus to overthrow their oppressor, Rome, and establish an earthly kingdom. Jesus came to be a conquering ruler, of course, but not in the way they had imagined. No, his plan far exceeded their expectations.
Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus told his disciples that he would be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. He predicted that he would be condemned to death, mocked, scourged, crucified and resurrected on the third day (Matthew 20:18-19). He also predicted that he would come later with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).
John later described a vision he had of Christ’s return saying, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sits on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and fights righteously” (Revelation 19:11). This is sobering news! As a faithful and true judge, Jesus sees through every facade and pretense. He knows our hearts and our secret thoughts. Nothing escapes him. He will judge the individuals and the nations of the earth. The truth will be revealed. Every injustice will be repaired. All iniquity will end. God will keep his promise and in Christ he will vindicate the faith of all who have put their trust in him.
The good news: Jesus wins! And you too. By his death on the cross, Jesus conquered sin. In his resurrection he overcame death. Join the winning camp. Surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Recognize that his work on the cross is sufficient to cleanse you of all wrongdoing and accept by faith that his resurrection is sufficient to raise you to a new life as well. Give control of your life to Jesus and commit to following Him from this day forward. Now is the time to prepare for his safe and certain return.
VSLark Killingsworth is executive pastor at Journey Church, Normal. Contact him at email@example.com