An article as published in Tomorrow newspaper by St Mary of the Angels, bukit batok, Singapore.

We are quite familiar with the Feast of Palm Sunday. We would go to get a palm leaf at the church, get it blessed and put it at our crucifix at home for one year. Maybe we are not quite familiar the history behind this feast. Why would Jesus ride a colt? What the crowd where shouting? Let us together take a deeper look from the scripture perspective on the feast of Palm Sunday.

The celebration of Palm Sunday, commemorates the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem. It was recorded in the four gospels (Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19: 28-39, John 12: 12-18). His entrance to Jerusalem is the fulfillment of the prophecy from Zechariah 9:9. Zechariah prophesied to Israel that their King would be coming triumphantly to them riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey instead of war horse. The colt signifies the humility of the King. The third king of Israel, Solomon also rode a mule when he was anointed as king (1 King 1: 38-40). A humble King is coming to us; He is coming as one of us. Perhaps this will help us to embrace Him better, to allow us to get closer to Him.

The crowd responded to Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem by taking palm leaf and shouting “Hosanna!, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” This is a direct quotation from Psalm 118:25-26. The word Hosanna is a Hebrew word which means save us. Psalm 118 is part of the Hallel, a Jewish prayer for praise and thanksgiving. It consists of Psalm 113 to 118. We may not be able to appreciate this psalm as our Jewish brothers and sisters do. Perhaps because we don’t have a deep longing for a Messiah as they do. Most of us no longer know about slavery, maybe because we don’t have a known history of slavery in our family. But maybe we are in a spiritual slavery; maybe we are being enslaved by pride, lust, greed, sloth, hatred, or sin. When we realize that we are enslaved, we will have desire to be free, we will long for a messiah or savior.

The Israelites were completely free from slavery when they were a strong nation led by King David. We would be completely free from the slavery of sin if we allow our life to be led by King Jesus. Allowing Jesus to reign in our kingdom is not an easy task but at least we can try to do the first step, to realize that we are in a slavery of sin and we have this desire to be free. Let us take a palm leaf and embrace Jesus’ entrance to our life, our Jerusalem, and shout to him “Save us!”.

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