Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Historically, the Sunday before Easter is celebrated as Palm Sunday, a day for the church to reflect on and celebrate the kingship of Jesus. Palm Sunday was a unique moment in Jesus’ lifetime—the first time He allowed His followers to crown Him King (see John 12:12-19). Through this historic event, we see the glory of Jesus that sets Him apart from every prophet and king who ever lived.
King Jesus stands in stark contrast with all earthly kings, for He is the eternal King. He is the King whose coronation was foretold in advance by the prophets. In fact, hundreds of years before Jesus entered Jerusalem, Zechariah prophesied, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).
The difference between King Jesus and every other earthly king can be found in this one verse. Christ is perfectly righteous and forever victorious, yet He is lowly—humbling Himself to the point of death on a cross. His weapon is not mass destruction, but the mass restoration of lives.
On Palm Sunday, King Jesus rode into Jerusalem not to conquer the city like an earthly king, but to conquer your heart and mine. He entered the city not as a man of the sword but as a man of sorrow, not as a man of hatred but as the God of love. Earthly kings may lord their authority over their subjects, but King Jesus compels us by His love and invites us into His Kingdom.
On that first Palm Sunday, the masses cried out, “Hosanna!” which means “Save now.” In doing so, they were proclaiming, “The king who will reign forever, whose sacrifice will redeem us, whose strength will carry us, whose might will defeat Satan—He is here.” Jesus purposely rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in order to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah, and the crowd recognized His kingship.
The celebration of Christ’s kingship on Palm Sunday begs the question: Is Christ the King of your life?
Prayer: Jesus, You are the rightful, righteous, eternal King. Help me by Your Spirit to live a life of submission to You. Thank You for Your love and sacrifice. All glory and praise belong to You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“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 12:13).