Today is Palm Sunday – the day we remember and celebrate Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem…
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:8-9)
Have you ever wondered why the people spread cloaks and branches on the road in front of Jesus? This is an unusual sight to our Western mindset, but Israel had seen this before. Notice the reaction of his fellow officers when a man named Jehu was anointed to be a future king of Israel:
Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.” (2 Kings 9:13)
A similar scene took place about 200 years before Christ, in the time between the Old and New Testaments. A terrible thing had happened in Israel. A man named Antiochus Epiphanes had captured Jerusalem. He wanted to stamp out the Jewish faith, and replace it with Greek worship. He desecrated the Temple by offering swine’s flesh on the altar, and making sacrifices to Zeus. He even turned the Temple chambers into public brothels.
It was the Maccabees who rose up against him, led by Judas Maccabaeus. They rescued their land, and reclaimed God’s Temple. The Temple was restored, purified, and rededicated. An historical writing tells us of the celebration: Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto Him that had given them good success in cleansing His place. (2 Maccabees 10:7)
King Jehu had to clean up a big mess left behind by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. The Maccabees had to clean up a big mess left behind by Antiochus Epiphanes. If you read Matthew 21, you will see what Jesus did after riding into Jerusalem. He went into the Temple, and cleaned up the big mess that the religious leaders had made of His Father’s House!
So you see, Jesus was sending a very clear message on Palm Sunday. He is the Anointed One, sent to be our Saviour, and sent to cleanse His Father’s House.
As we gather in our churches on this Palm Sunday, let us remember that He is The Cleansing King. He has come to clean the sin out of His Church. He does that by cleaning the sin out of the hearts of His people. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul reminds us that the Christian’s body is a temple of God’s Holy Spirit. On this special Sunday, why not invite Jesus to do a Spring Cleaning of your heart and mind?
Today’s Good News is that no matter how big a mess you have made, you can be forgiven. Jesus can cleanse your sin, and make your life shine with the reflection of His glory.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Now, go share the Good News…
NOTE: I invite you to read Today’s Good News every day this week. Beginning tomorrow, the Lord willing, I will share an Easter series on The Miracles of Calvary.
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