During the month of March and into April, basketball teams throughout the United States are cheered for winning league and conference championships. When many lose, especially first-place teams, there is some degree of criticism by both coaches and players. It’s easy to cheer for those who are winning. But once the elimination defeat comes, there is not much to cheer about.
On a day in the very first century that we now call Palm Sunday, it was something like that. At the height of His popularity, Jesus entered a crowded and overflowing Jerusalem. Thousands of people cheered. It was a Kentucky Derby crowd that welcomed a popular rider on a young donkey. He was rider number one. The excited crowd threw palm branches and some of their clothes on his riding track. They cheered and shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13).
A few days later they had, for the most part, turned on Him and consented to his execution by cruel and painful means, even though some publicly confessed it was hard to find any fault with Him.
The plot to kill Jesus was in high gear. The cheering crowd had turned against Him.
The most accurate and the greatest and most exciting story of human and divine history is recorded in the New Testament book of John, chapters 11-21. Read those words carefully and you will gain a better understanding of the times in which we now live.
Jesus came with a mission of peace. There will be no peace in our world until the Prince of Peace becomes the God in whom we trust supremely.
Read the story in the four Gospel accounts — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — and learn from the most accurate accounts of what was and will be. It is easier to understand the full meaning of Passover (Easter) Sunday if we understand the meaning of Palm Sunday.
A poem I’ve written:
The Love Cup
No matter what others do to you,
Christ has already paid the penalty for that particular sin.
If you think you are going to make others suffer
for what they did to you,
Christ has already suffered for the mistakes they made.
What more do you want?
It has already been paid for on the cross.
You don’t have to add to the suffering
and consequences of the sin.
The measure of our love
is the extent of our ability to forgive.