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What They Didn’t Know On That Palm Sunday

green palm leaves criss crossed in front of one another
April 5, 2022
Erin Branham

They spread their garments on the road before Jesus. It was a welcome given to kings and conquerers. They thought he was going to overthrow the government and release them from Roman rule. They didn’t know he was the King of Kings and the one who would conquer death forever.

They grabbed palm branches, laid them on the ground, and waved them as Jesus passed by. A sign of victory; another symbol given to kings or conquerors. They didn’t know it was foreshadowing a moment in the new Jerusalem where we’ll all gather, palms in hand, and shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Their cry of ‘hosanna’ was a way of saying, “Save us, please! Our Savior has come! Salvation is here!” They didn’t know he wasn’t the savior they wanted but the Savior they needed. 

They didn’t know in just five days their shouts of adoration and praise would be traded in for insults and shouts of “Crucify him!”

They didn’t know their cries of “Salvation is here” would turn into taunts, “Save yourself, if you’re really the King of the Jews!”

They didn’t know the king and conqueror’s welcome they were giving Jesus would turn into a parade to watch his crucifixion.

They didn’t know as they spread their garments on the ground before him that a few short days later they would be rolling dice to win his garments as he hung on the cross.

They didn’t know the Word had become human and made his home among them.

But Jesus knew what they didn’t know, and he still loved them. Even on the cross, he cried out in love and compassion, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

He chose the Cross for them. He chose it for us today. Today, we will shout “Hosanna! Our Savior is here!” and in a short time later, it’s inevitable doubt, fear, anxiety, and anger will get ahold of us, and we’ll cry out, “Where are you??” as if he isn’t there. Our Savior, he is here. He is filled with compassion and love for us. He is worthy of glory and honor. Our King. Our Conqueror. Immanuel, God with us.

Salvation through Jesus Christ has come.

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