Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday

by Rev. Fr. Dr. V. C. Varghese

Glory to the Triune God!

St. John opened his book announcing us that Jesus "came unto His own (world) and His own (people) received Him not" (John 1:11). In the first twelve chapters, John presented one sign after another, and one proof after another, to convince us the Jesus is indeed the Christ the Son of God. Having been rejected by the leaders of the nation (His own), Jesus then retired with "His own" beloved disciples whom He loved to His heart. The 'Triumphant Entry' was the only public demonstration that our Lord allowed while He was ministering on earth. His purpose was to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy of Zachariah 9:9.

What did this event mean to Jesus? For one thing, it was a part of His obedience to the Father's will. Certainly Jesus was openly announcing to the people that He indeed is the King of Israel (John 1:49). Now His "Hour" had come. It was time now for Him to make the last public affirmation of His claims as the Christ Son of God. He knew the 'Triumphal entry' would lead to Calvary. It was the month of Nisan. The Book of Exodus ordered that a Paschal Lamb was to be selected, and after four days later it was to be sacrificed. On Palm Sunday the Lamb was chosen by popular acclaim of 'Hosanna' in Jerusalem; on Good Friday He (the Lamb) was sacrificed.

It was a great paradox that on the one hand the sovereignty of the Lord, and the other His "need" (Matt.21:3); the Divinity and dependence, of possession and poverty was the consequences of the Word becoming flesh. He who was rich became poor for our sake, that we might be rich. He borrowed a manger for His birth and He borrowed a boat from a fisherman to preach; He borrowed five loaves and a few fish from a lad to feed the multitude; He borrowed a grave to be laid; now He borrowed an ass on which to enter Jerusalem.

As He approached the city, a great multitude came to meet Him. There were three different groups in the crowd that day: (1) the Passover visitors from out side Judea (John 12:12); (2) the local people who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus (John 12:17; (3) the religious leaders who were greatly concerned about what Jesus might do at the feast (John 12:19). The Roman authorities also were on the alert during any feasts.

He was the promised Prince of David's line; that One who came with a Divine mission. Only Matthew mentioned that two animals were procured. Jesus chose this animal because by this choice He made public claim to be King, once Absalom (2 Sam.18:9) riding on a white mule as a part of public declaration of rebellion against his father. Here Jesus was not rebellious against His Father, but in full obedience. None of the evangelists record the color of the ass but simply a colt, the foal of an ass. This was the poor man's beast of burden. It was not the animal of war, the horse, but it was even the humblest the animals of peace. Many took off their garments and spread them before Him accepting His Divinity. Others cut down boughs from the olive trees and palm branches and strewed them on the way.

The entry has been called triumphant; but He knew that the "Hosannas" would change to "crucify" and the palms would be turned into spears. Garments aplenty under His feet today, but on Friday He would be denied even His own. From the very beginning He knew what was in the heart of man, and never He suggests that the Redemption of men's souls could be accomplished by vocal fireworks. Is our Palm Sunday is any different than of that Palm Sunday two thousand years ago? Are we join with the Pharisees of that famous Palm Sunday? If we not praising Our Lord, the nature itself would cry out and proclaim His Divinity and Mercy. Stoned are hard, but if they would cry out, then how much harder must be our hearts that we would not recognize God's mercy before them. Tears were in our Lord's eyes, not because of the cross which awaits Him, but because of the woes impending over us, for which He came to save and we would not follow Him. What prompted His tears were the eyes that would not see and the ears that would not hear. At His birth, the angels announced "peace on earth" (Luke 2:13-14); but in His ministry Jesus announced "war on earth" (Luke 12:51). It is significant that the crowds shouted "peace in heaven" (Luke 19:38), because that is the only place where there is peace today! Wish everyone a peaceful Palm Sunday and a blessed Holy Week.

See Also:

Passion Week Supplement

Great Lent Resources - Home

Sermon of the Week - Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by HG Zachariah Mar Theophilose

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. M. O. John

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. V. C. Jose Chemmanam

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. T. George

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Palm Sunday Sermon
by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Devotional Thoughts for Hosanna Sunday - Palm Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

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