This is Holy Week, and around the world Christians are celebrating the incredible events that took place in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. Although there are many things that separate us doctrinally, here is one thing about which all Christians agree. Holy Week stands at the center of the Christian faith. For eight days the differences of language, culture and race are forgotten and laid aside.
And what a week it is, eight days that traditionally begin with Palm Sunday and end with Easter Sunday. Two momentous events bracket Holy Week–the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday and the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Without controversy, it is truly a Holy Week because it encompasses the most sacred events of the Christian faith. All the things that we hold most dear were proved to be true during this great week in Jerusalem.
Today we focus on Palm Sunday, which by the way most likely took place on Monday. Support for a Monday triumphal entry is found in the Mosaic requirement that sacrificial lambs for Passover were to be selected on the tenth day of the first month and kept in the household until sacrificed on the fourteenth (Ex. 12:2–6). In the year Jesus was crucified (whether taken as A.D. 30 or 33), the tenth of Nisan was the Monday of Passover week.
John MacArthur states, “If Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphally on Monday, He was received into the hearts of the Jewish people as a nation much as a family received the sacrificial lamb into the home. In so doing our Lord would have fulfilled the Passover symbolism even in that small detail, being received by His people on the tenth of Nisan. Continuing that perfect fulfillment, He was then crucified on Friday the fourteenth of Nisan, as the true Passover Lamb sacrificed for the sins of the world.”
Of all the events of Holy Week, the Triumphal Entry is the most-overlooked and least-understood. On Palm Monday, the Truth rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s back. Although the crowds cheered the Truth, beneath the surface a conflict raged. In Matthew 21, verse 10 they asked the question, “Who is this?”.
“And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
The majority did not want the Truth that day, nor have they wanted the Truth on any day since that day. Christ comes again and again to the human heart. Each time a verdict must be rendered. Look! He’s coming down Main Street. Your King has come. What will you do? Will you join with those who crucified Him or will you join with those who cry out “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!”?
Our greatest need is for courage to make the right choices. When the time comes to take sides with Jesus, all you need is enough courage to do the right thing. The Palm Sunday invitation is not to believe but to be brave. The brave join the little children who praise Him gladly while the timid are left to dream about what might have been.
What is your choice?