Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey… (Zechariah 9:9 HCSB)
On Palm Sunday, Christians throughout the world celebrate the coming of our King and Messiah, Jesus. In the Orthodox churches of the Middle East and India, processions carrying palm branches and singing ‘Hosanna’ are reminiscent of the time when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem – on a donkey.
In this age when darkness still rules over the earth, and people “call evil good and good, evil” (Isaiah 5:20 ESV), we believers are privileged to have recognised the true King. He has called us to walk in the light of the Lord (Isaiah 2:5), the light that is not overcome by darkness.
The best of earthly rulers cannot compare to our King Messiah. Unlike the despots of old, or the self-serving politicians of our time, this King sacrificed Himself for us and put our eternal security before His own glory or comfort. The character of our King is described in the scripture; He is –
- The Servant King who “…though He was in the form of God… emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of a man” (Philipians 2:5 ESV).
- The Suffering King, “who for the joy that was set before Him [our deliverance, salvation, restoration and wholeness] endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).
- The Priestly King – He is revealed to us as “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4 ESV). “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV)
- The King of Peace and Righteousness – Therefore, “He is first, by translation of his name [Melchizedek] king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace” (Hebrews 7:2 ESV).
- The Victorious King: “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies” (Zephaniah 3:15 ESV) and “The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion. Rule over Your surrounding enemies…” (Psalm 110:2 HCSB).
With such a King over us, we have no reason to fear and every reason to rejoice. We are safe, secure and protected from harm. He provides for our needs and forgives our sins. Being close to Him means peace in the midst of struggle, and victory. All these things we may enjoy here on earth despite the darkness, but our greatest joy will be when He comes to conquer that darkness, which ruins our world, and lead us into everlasting light. On that day, we will experience an immense freedom and peace never before found on earth. In that age, Jesus will rule over not only us who acknowledge His name, but over all creation.
Palm Sunday reminds us of the better things to come. Christ’s reign will transform not only our lives, but also all of creation – beyond recognition. In the kingdom over which Jesus reigns, there will be:
- An end to war between nations: “He shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes… they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4 ESV).
- A transformation in the nature of creation: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6 ESV).
- An end to ill will, strife and conflict: “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain (Isaiah 11:9 ESV).
- Closeness to God: “The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9 ESV). “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God”(Revelations 21:3 ESV).
- An end to sorrow and dying: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelations 21:3 ESV).
- Peace and security: This Kingdom will never be overthrown. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7 ESV). “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145:13 ESV)
There will be an end to war. The knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. People will be so aware of God and so filled with the peace and joy, that there will be no room for sin or strife. Instead of the curse of Adam’s sin, and endless conflict within creation, there will be endless peace and harmony.
Father, we wait with great longing for the return of Your Son Jesus Christ to rule over us. Let us keep ourselves – blameless, watchful and ready – for that day. Fill us with peace and confidence as we wait for His coming. Thank You for the wonderful gift of Your Son.