What’s the significance of Palm Sunday?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: What’s the significance of Palm Sunday? Is it more like Christmas Eve… the excitement before the big event? – R.W.
A: What we’ve come to know as Palm Sunday was a day where, in the city of Jerusalem, a great crowd of people gathered and welcomed Jesus, proclaiming, “Hosanna!” They spread palm branches before Him and praised His Name, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:37-38). In less than a week’s time, many of these same people were shouting, “Crucify Him!” They felt Jesus had let them down. They were disappointed that Jesus had not done what they thought He would do—establish His kingdom on Earth, overthrowing Rome and its power over the people.
Rome was at the height of her glory when a disturbing sect called Christians began to grow. After Jesus had been crucified and resurrected, He commanded His disciples to go into the world and proclaim the Good News of the kingdom to come. The message was so hated that Christians began to be persecuted.
The Roman high tribunal initiated a drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of pagan unity, for they mistakenly thought that a person’s conscience could be controlled by law, so they made it illegal to be different, claiming that all must bow to Caesar, all must conform to pagan custom, and all must behave like true Romans.
Time hasn’t changed human nature. The world is still trying to put its stamp of conformity on followers of Jesus Christ. Regardless of the pressures to conform to the world, believers in Christ are called to hold God’s standard high. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Conforming to His standard and reflecting His image without compromise is what brings glory to the King of kings.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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