The Palm Sunday Crowd: Which Group Are You In?

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” ~ Zechariah 9:9

The Triumphal Entry: John 12: 12-21 ESV

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Verse 12: “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 

The Passover is the seven-day celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is a very significant time on the Jewish calender so large crowd gathered in Jeruselam to commemorate this festival.

Moses record in Exodus 12: 17says And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.” 

The Branch Waving, Hosanna Shoutinng Crowd

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Verse 13 – 15: “So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel! And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 

The palm branch is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life. Palm Sunday, is also called Passion Sunday, and it is the Sunday before the Easter celebrations. In the Christian tradition, this is the first day of Holy Week, commemorating Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

The writer uses “Fear not” instead of “Rejoice greatly daughter of Zion” as stated in the original scripture. This is encouragement to this crowd because some fearful things were about to happen to the King. The signs of joy and victory, will swiftly turn to suffering and death. Jesus’s death paved the way for him to gain the victory over sin, Satan, the world, and death; and it lays a solid foundation for true joy and peace, to all who believe in him.

The Disciple Following Crowd

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Verse 16: “His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 

Jesus said “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16: 12 – 13

Act 2: 38 – 39  And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

The Witness Bearing Crowd

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Verse 17 – 18: “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.  The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.” 

The witnesses were so many, and the proofs they gave so strong, that many firmly believed it. This being the most amazing miracle, and which exceeded even any of the same kind. Jairus’s daughter, and the widow of Nain’s son were dead but not buried, when they were raised.

Many would want to see Lazarus as much as they wanted to see Jesus. Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days when Jesus called him out of the tomb. This miracle made a very strong impression upon the minds of the people, and engaged their attention to Jesus, and they belief in him.

The Woe Unto You Crowd

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Verse 19: “So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

In the book of Matthew chapter 23 Jesus speaking to the Pharisees gave them 7 woes and asked “how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”  He called them names such as hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, serpents and brood of vipers among others.

We are warned in Matthews 5: 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I Want To See For Myself Crowd

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Verse 20 – 21: “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

In attendance upon this holy ordinances, particularly the gospel Passover, they wanted more.  The calling of the Gentiles magnifies the Redeemer. The great yearning which, swollen by what they heard, was loud as the voice of the crowd so that they dare to ask to see Jesus.

The great desire of your souls should be to see Jesus; to see him as yours, to keep up communion with him, and derive grace from him. And it may be observed, that sensible sinners are very desirous of having a spiritual sight of Christ.

Where Do You Stand?

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When you consider the Palm Sunday crowd that welcomed Jesus: which group are you in? Which group closely represents your relationship with the Lord? Your spiritual life is the reflection of your relationship with God and this is displayed daily. He is King and that will not change.

John continues from verses 26:  “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” 

Serve God and he will give you eternal life. He sent his son to seek and save sinners. Only he can save you, accept him today. Amen

Related: Labour Of Love: The Loud “Silence” of God

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