Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional thoughts for Palm Sunday

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Gospel Reading: St. John 12:12-19

Our Lord’s entry into the Temple of Jerusalem is often known as the triumphant entry of our Lord. The news of the blessed entry was flashed among the people especially the Jews and they were so eager to see what would be the ret results of the entry. It seems that they had expected something after the entry. This is what we are reading in verse 12. “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem” They all were waiting for the arrival of Jesus, as against their routine practice of leaving Jerusalem immediately after the feast. When we would read from the first verse of the chapter under reference, we would come to know what was the significance of the previous day. Our Lord was received well in Bethany, where our Lord took supper with Lazarus and other guests. And at the same place only Mary anointed the feet of our Lord with a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly one. We could have a brief description of the triumphant journey in St. Luke 19:35. The people who were waiting for the arrival of our Lord only uttered in high sound “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord”. They were holding branches of Palm trees.

Every year we also participate the processions around our churches, holding the tender palm leaves. How many of us do understand the real meaning of the words uttered and the hymns sung? Do we really understand the word “Hosanna”? Hosanna literally means ‘save us”. Do we really realize the real meaning of saying Hosanna again and again on the Palm Sunday? We are really supposed to cry to our Savior, to save us from the sins and the bondage of sins. If we do expect salvation from our Lord, we must believe in Him and we must ask Him to do the needful to save us. The people who assembled at Jerusalem had faith that our Lord was their King. In verse 14 and 15 we read “And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold thy King comes sitting on ass’s colt.” It is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah. In Isaiah 62:11, we read, “Behold the Lord has proclaimed unto the end of the world, You say to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation has come Behold his reward is with him, and his work before him”. So also in Zechariah 9: 9 we read, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion: shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold , thy King comes unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass”.

In the next verse (16) it is recorded that the disciples did not understand these things first, but they later when Jesus was glorified remembered that writings about him. In St. Luke 18: 34 we read, And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” In St. John 7:39 we read but this talk he made of the Spirit which they that believe him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because that Jesus was not glorified”. We find the real glorification of our Lord through the blessed resurrection. Our Lord accepted the glorified body after the resurrection. In St. John 14:26 we read, “But the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrances, whatsoever I have said unto thee”. From this we could assume the period when the Apostles were blessed enough to grasp all the teachings and words of our Lord.

We find a large number of Jews who had witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus were the participants of the great procession that lead our Lord to the temple. That is why the Pharisees are telling that the world has gone after him, in verse 19.

We the Christians are aware of our Lord and His blessed mission on earth including the ways and means through which, He has gained the freedom from the bondage of Satan and sins. Still are we responding to His need of staying in our hearts in the right way. Do we keep the doors of the temple open for his entry or are we keep them closed for ever. Are we eager to receive Him on His blessed entry/arrival. Just think what way we are handling the matter. We have already observed the 40 days Lent. What we have gained? Think whether we were able to increase our spirituality by observing the Lenten season? May God help us to make use of the coming days for our revival of spirituality. May God bless us to have more and more repentance and forgiveness of our sins. Let us try to live in Him.

May God bless us all.

See Also:

Great Lent Resources - Home

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

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