Monday, April 6, 2009

Triumphal Entry

bethphagetriumphal_entryPalm Sunday marks the Triumphal Entry of Jesus in Jerusalem (Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12).  At that time, one week before His crucifixion, a large crowd of those gathered for the feast of the Passover, declared Jesus as King and the long expected Messiah.  John described it this way (12:12-13): "The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out: 'Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  The King of Israel!' "  Palm branches were used, harkening back to the Feast of Booths (Leviticus 23:40-44), signifying deliverance, redemption, and provision.  Jericho, a place marked by the Lord's victory, was known as the City of Palms (Deuteronomy 34:3; Chronicles 28:15).  The temple, the place of worship and God's presence, was decorated with palm trees (1 Kings 6:29, 32,35, 7:36; 2 Chronicles 3:5).  Therefore, we should not wonder at the description of that innumerable worshipping host standing before the throne of the Lamb.  They are clothed in white robes, holding palm branches in their hands, and saying with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9)

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