Palm Sunday is a meaningful day to me since my childhood. At summer time when there are no classes, I consider this as an opportunity for me to make some good money as I exercise my creativity, cutting and folding those fresh palm and coconut leaves to make unique designs, and selling them to neighbors as they visit the church. When I started to serve the church at 12 years old, this festivity and means for income turned into a devotion. It’s special because I saw how my understanding of this celebration has changed as I grow up.
A Welcome of Triumph
Passover was one of the three feasts that the Jews religiously attend. People enter Jerusalem and when the huge crowd heard that Jesus is coming, 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). Jesus responded by sitting on a young donkey and walked along the palms which is a fulfillment of a prior prophecy (Zechariah 9:9).
It was a dramatic scene. A scene that sparks hope as the equivalent Hebrew word of Hosanna is ‘hoshi’ah-na’, which is used to address a King, also means “Save!” or “Help” . It was a celebration of the coming liberation and peace , maybe not as how they expected Jesus to do it.
Welcoming Him Today
Not everyone is interested. Sometimes, we deny it, but John tells us that even though Jesus was born into a world that He created, some people did not receive Him (John 1:11). It’s a good thing that not everyone did that, there are some who received him, and to those, He gave them the right to become children of God (John 1:12). He offers himself to us in times of joy and sorrow, health and sickness, and victory and defeat.
If the same occasion happens today, how are we going to do it? This question may not make sense considering how Jesus’ second coming was said in the books today but, taking it in the surface, how are you going to welcome Him as He pursue His way into your life today? There might be a lot of ways to welcome him in our life every day. Here are some which were mentioned in the scriptures:
By Accepting His Offer of Eternal Life
Receiving Jesus is more than just believing that He existed and knowing the facts about His life. It also means accepting his offer of eternal life as said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life”.
By Receiving His Ministers
How many times have you rejected someone who tries to share the gospel to you? How many times have you preferred to text while the church service is ongoing? When Jesus sent his 12 disciples, he said “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Matthew 10:40). Next time someone come to you, believe that they were sent for a purpose, and by welcoming them, you are welcoming Christ.
By Accepting Your Brothers and Sisters
Apostle Paul told us that we should accept each other, and this practice of acceptance is not selective (Romans 15:17). Remember that Christ welcomed us in His grace despite of all the imperfections that we have and we ought to do the same to others. Jesus said loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37). John further said,”Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”(1 John 4:20).