Looking back at first Palm Sunday parade

Published 5:27 pm Saturday, March 19, 2016

By Larry P. Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday parade, not everyone knew him to see him.

There was no press or media to give “spin” to who he claimed to be.“Hosanna to the King” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” was echoing through the streets of Jerusalem. The city was stirred.

The chief priest and the scribes were indignant. In their misguided zeal they even asked Jesus to quiet the crowd. The Lord’s response was incredible, “If I do, the rocks will cry out.”

To further elevate their ignorance they reprimanded Jesus for allowing the people to shout overtures that should be reserved for praising God himself.

The name “Jesus” had become a household word.  Galilee was alive with his teachings and work. People had been healed. Devils had been cast out.

The blind could see and the lame could walk.

Those who could not speak were set free to give praise to the son of God. He even raised the dead.

He stopped a storm on the Sea of Galilee by speaking.

The Disciples watched him walk on water.  No one like him had ever existed before. The people were in awe of his brilliant speech,“No one ever spoke like this man.”

Jesus was on a mission. Matthew 1:21 made that clear, “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” John the Baptist gave further credibility at the Lord’s baptism; “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

While his arrival into Jerusalem was not as the people expected of their Messiah, Jesus the Christ arrived to fulfill his purpose.

The people were expecting a King after the order of David.

Their idea was someone to deliver them from the oppression of the Roman Empire.

God was looking beyond an empire. He knows that we do not always have the guarantee of being delivered from earthly oppression or domination.  The Lord also knows that no matter where we live or what our socio-economic status may be, we all need a savior who can deliver us from the power and destruction of a life of sin and disobedience to the standards and values he has established. There is no peace like the peace Jesus gives when our past has been forgiven and we discover a life that has meaning.

There is no joy or happiness that can compare to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was and is the long awaited Messiah. We celebrate his arrival into Jerusalem today.  He is the “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords.” Knowing Him as my personal savior is “Simply Beautiful.”