“But in the coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up against you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord have spoken.” Isaiah 54:17, NLT
The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel.” John 12:12-13, NIV
4th Sunday (Palm Sunday) - “Victory!”
Time and reflection have a way of teaching us the importance of events and moments which, initially may not have been fully understood. The appearance of Jesus in the city the day after the Sabbath, was filled with awe, wonder, and excitement. Many, did not understand the real symbolism of Jesus, riding the young colt, and being festooned with palm branches. Some thought this was the eve of a coronation. Rumor had it that Jesus would soon become a contemporary king, and put an end to Roman domination. They envisioned the wrong type of kingship, an earthly one. The prophet Zechariah foretold of Palm Sunday, when he declared the Messiah would ride triumphantly in Jerusalem on a young donkey (Zec. 9:9, NIV). It is the retrospective view of John’s Gospel that gives us a clue to what the triumphant entrance into Jerusalem is all about. Only John mentions that “palm branches” were spread beneath Jesus. The palm, phoenix in the Greek translation, is the preeminent symbol for “victory.” It meant no opposition; be it a trial, beatings, mocking, the cross, or the grave, would defeat Jesus. Isaiah prophesied, “In that day, no weapon formed against you will succeed” (Is. 54:17, NIV). Jesus was not on His way to a coronation, but to victory over sin and death! The waving palm pronounced Jesus’ victory that day!