As far as the written literature of the Christian world is concerned, somehow there appears to be a disturbing "calm" about "Palm" Sunday, one of the landmark events in our Saviour's life, with not too many articles abounding in relation to the same. It is the same with the Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost. Somehow, in the Contemporary Church, these two momentous events do not seem to be given the due significance attached to other milestone events in our Saviour's life, such as Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.

In this Series laced with alliteration of sub-headings beginning with the letter "P" for "Palm", yours truly feels challenged to present the significance of Palm Sunday to Nuggets readership through the following sub-headings:


Period...

Our Lord, who is scripturally known as the Almighty's Pascal Lamb (See 1 Cor. 5:7) had said that He came not to abolish the law but to fulfil it (See Matt. 5:17). As Jesus had fulfilled the law in every respect, it is not binding on us who follow Him in faith to observe the law in toto (See Acts 15:1-35).

Now coming back to the Saviour...As per the Jewish Law, the Pascal Lamb, whose blood would save the Lord's chosen ones from His wrath, had to be brought to the Jewish home four days before its eventual slaying (See Exodus 12:1-6). It follows, therefore, that the Divine Pascal Lamb also would enter Jerusalem, the "home" (See Psalm 132:13-14) of it's "Divine Owner", exactly four days before His propitiatory death (See 1 Thess 1:10 TLB). Mind you, this "fourth day" for the Jews would begin precisely at evening on the previous day by our calendars (6pm), and would end at evening of the next day (exactly 24 hours later). So folks, the atoning death of our Lord at 3 pm on "Good Friday" was not on the "fifth" day after entering His Father's Home, but at a time which was very much the part of the "fourth" day (See John 18:28). 


Prophecy...

If milestone events amongst others in our Redeemer's life, such as His virgin birth at Bethlehem, crucifixion on the Cross, resurrection and ascention were all prophesied (See Is. 7:14/Micah 5:2/ Ps. 22 /Ps. 16:10/Ps. 68:18), then what would make us think that the incidents which were central to an event as significant as Palm Sunday, with His arrival into God's home (also City- Psalm 148:1-3) and it's subsequent purification that fuelled by His righteous indignation would not be prophesied? Let the Scripture take over at this stage. Firstly the Prophecy about His arrival...

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zech. 9:9 ESV)

Then the one on His righteous indignation which propelled Him to undertake impromptu cleansing of the Temple: "For zeal for your house has consumed me..." (Ps. 69:9 ESV)

While on the subject, we may now take the "loopline" (permit me to use some of the Railways-related terminology) to cast spotlight on the subject, "Why Prophecies". Remember that the very salvation of mankind depended upon His single, singular life. As a result, the Almighty God did not want any rationalist to attribute His unique life, death and resurrection to a mere accident or coincidence. Let me illustrate with a Railways related incident: While hurredly alighting from a train in India, a servant of God forgot one of his suitcases in the compartment. As the train chugged away from the station, a chilling realization hit him that a suitcase now needed to be retrieved from that train. Would he chase the train in a taxi? Considering the traffic on the roads, there was no way he would do that, for by the time he reached the next station, the train would have already departed from there as well. So he frantically prayed that the suitcase containing some very precious items of his would be restored.Tears of joy started flowing from his eyes when lo and behold, he heard the announcement in the station that the train which had departed was returning. The reason? This devout soul would later discover that the train had run short of water in its storage tank, and the passengers were complaining. The driver had no other choice but to bring it back to the station to refill its water tanks.

While a Christian would attribute the whole experience of this Servant of God to Divine Providence, a rationalist would put it down to mere coincidence. Consider for a moment, however, the following: What if everything about this "lost and found" story had been foretold by way of writing in a certain book? Would a rationalist still put it down to an accident or a coincidence? No way. It is the same about Christ's life. It was not by chance that everything happened the way it did at His first coming. Rather, everything that transpired in His life was the Almighty's will!

Hmmmm...Didn't one wise man affirm "Prophecy is nothing but history written in advance"?

Prayer: Father, Thou art Sovereign. Everything is in Your hands. We need not worry when a crisis comes calling. We resolve not to worry during our troubled times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan

(To access the entire "Lessons From Palm Sunday" mini-series, please click here.)