Sunday, March 24, 2024

Palm Sunday 2024 From Hosanna to Calvary


Palm Sunday 2024: From Hosanna to Calvary

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Palm Sunday 2024

From Hosanna to Calvary

By Rev. Bruce A. Shields



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Today is Palm Sunday. March 24th, 2024


          Today is Palm Sunday, Holy Week, or Palm Sunday to Good Friday. From Hosanna to Calvary, a week that should be celebrated by all followers of Christ.


Listen as I read about the triumphal entry of Jesus.




Matthew 21:1-11

“And when they had approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4 And this took place in order that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, saying,


5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,

‘Behold your King is coming to you,

Lowly, and mounted on a donkey,

And on a colt, the foal of a pack animal.’”


6 And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their garments on them; and He sat on the garments. 8 And most of the crowd spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. 9 And the crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were crying out, saying,


“Hosanna to the Son of David;

Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh;

Hosanna in the highest!”


10 And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”


From the joyful celebration of the entrance of the king, to the sorrowful path of the coming cross. A contrast of emotions for those who did not fully understand the work of the cross, or why Jesus had to die to save.



a.   The excitement, joy, and celebrations as the crowds rejoice

                                  i.    We read again, in Mark 11:1-11 about His entry

1.    V9-10 “Hosanna!

Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh;

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our Father David;

Hosanna in the highest!”                        


                                ii.    Hosanna is an exclamation expressing adoration, praise, and joy.

                              iii.    Similar to a shout of alleluia, hurrah, hurray, or in archaic times, huzzah


b.   The fulfillment of prophecy

                                  i.    Why did Jesus ride into Jerusalem as He did? To fulfill prophecy.

                                ii.    Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Make a loud shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;

He is righteous and endowed with Salvation,

Lowly [humbled or afflicted] and mounted on a donkey,

Even on a colt, the foal of a pack animal.”



a.   The following week was filled with cleansing, warnings, enemies rising, and eventually, betrayal.

                                  i.    We read in Mark 11:12-14 that the next day (Monday), Jesus were hungry and came upon a fig tree with leaves but no figs.

                                ii.    Jesus cursed the tree, saying, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!”

                              iii.    Imagine, for a moment, you are the tree.

1.    Your Lord comes to collect your fruit, and though you have all the leaves and knew He would come, you have no fruit.

                               iv.    This is a warning to those who claim Christ and even look the part with the leaves but have no fruit; they are still cursed before the Lord.

1.    We have spoken much lately about fruit showing your faith is alive. James tells us that faith without works (or fruit) is a dead faith that cannot save.

                                 v.    When Jesus comes to collect, even out of season, you must have fruit.


b.   After this warning, Jesus entered the temple, revealing its evil money-exchanging practice

                                  i.    Flipping tables and chairs

                                ii.    Blocking people from leaving with their merchandise

                              iii.    V 17 “He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”

1.    The priests and scribes stole money through temple coins and unfair exchange rates.

2.   They were also selling sub-par animals for sacrifice.

a.   This is not allowed by Yahweh.

b.   They must be unblemished for a few reasons

                                                                                  i.    They represent the unblemished Son, Jesus

                                                                                ii.    Is it truly a sacrifice if the animal is not perfect?

                                                                              iii.    The biggest reason is that God said


c.    There are two categories of sacrifice.

                                  i.    If you remember, when we studied this in our Exodus series, there are Voluntary and Mandatory sacrifices.


                                ii.    VOLUNTARY

1.    Burnt offerings to express devotion or commitment to God or atonement for unintentional sins

2.   Grain offerings or fruit of the field are usually offered with a drink offering (of wine) to express thanksgiving and recognition of God’s provision and unmerited goodwill toward us. A portion of this offering was given to the priests.

3.   Peace offerings were used as a Thanksgiving/fellowship shared meal. The priest was given the breast of the animal, and the officiant priest the right foreleg (called wave offering)


                              iii.    MANDATORY

1.    Sin offerings to atone and be cleansed of the sin

2.   Trespass offerings for atonement for unintentional sins that required reimbursement to the offended party.

                               iv.    ALL of which required a spotless, unblemished, perfect animal.

                                 v.    They violated God’s requirements because of sub-standard sacrifices and because of their evil money schemes to rip off people trying to make sacrifices to God

                               vi.    Never stand between God and people trying to reach Him.

d.   V 18 “the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.”



a.   In Mark 14:22-26, we read about the last supper they would have together.

                                  i.    Jesus says in I Corinthians 11:24, “…Do this in remembrance of Me.”

                                ii.    Jesus tells us that the bread represents His body, which was broken for us, and the wine, His blood, which was shed for the remission of sins. And every time we take “the Lord’s Supper,” or “communion,” we do this to remember His sacrifice.

                              iii.    At the time, they didn’t fully understand what this sacrifice would be

                               iv.    Peter even tried talking Him out of the cross, to which Jesus replied by calling him a satan. Not “the Satan,” but satan, as in accuser or opposer to the Will of God.


b.   Jesus’ betrayal

                                  i.    Judas was possessed by Satan.

1.    Luke 22:1-3 “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was drawing near. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people. 3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, who belonged to the number of the twelve.”

2.   Here we read that Satan (an evil entity) possessed Judas, and he betrayed Jesus…different from satan (used to describe an accuser or opponent such as Peter when he tried talking Jesus out of going to the cross)

a.   But I thought Christians could not be possessed.

                                                                                  i.    They cannot

                                                                                ii.    The Holy Spirit seals us and fills us.

                                                                              iii.    An evil spirit cannot reside {with} the Spirit of God.

b.   Judas did not have the Holy Spirit yet

                                                                                  i.    Jesus had not died on the cross

                                                                                ii.    The day of Pentecost had not occurred.

                                                                              iii.    The Helper, promised by God, had not been poured out upon Christians.

c.    Judas allowed himself to be possessed.

                                                                                  i.    Why…the bible doesn’t clearly say

                                                                                ii.    Jesus chose him, but none of the scriptures point to the fact that he believed Jesus to be God.

                                                                              iii.    He may not have believed Jesus was the Messiah at all.

                                                                               iv.    Unlike the other disciples, Judas never called Jesus Lord in scripture.

                                                                                 v.    Instead, he said “Rabbi,” which means nothing more than a teacher.

                                                                               vi.    Other disciples had great professions of faith and loyalty in scripture, but not Judas.

d.   Many things could have been going on with him. Regardless, he was possessed and betrayed the Lord.

                                ii.    Though scripture says Judas later committed suicide over the matter, we do not know if there was repentance or if he was ever “saved.”



a.   Gethsemane

                                  i.    We also read in Mark 14 about the distress and weight of humanity’s sin falling upon Jesus as He waited to surrender to the soldiers coming to take Him to the cross.

                                ii.    Knowing all that would come, Jesus obeyed the Father’s will in V 36.



a.   Much would take place before the actual cross.

                                  i.    Jesus would be arrested

                                ii.    Peter would deny knowing Jesus three times.

                              iii.    Mark 15:1-15 records Jesus’ abuse and mockery

1.    His humiliation and rejection at the hands of human authority

                               iv.    This brings us to the cross.



a.   The Road to Calvary, carrying the cross

                                  i.    Mark 15:16-20 “So the soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they *called together the whole Roman cohort. 17 And they *dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they *put it on Him; 18 and they began to greet Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him; and kneeling, they were bowing down before Him. 20 And after they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they *led Him out to crucify Him.”


b.   Looking towards the cross (Good Friday)

                                  i.    We see something in Mark 15:21, just before Christ was hung from the cross.

                                ii.    “And they *pressed into service a passerby coming from the countryside, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to carry His cross.”


This single verse is a message to all of us.

God is always purposeful about what is written in the word. Here we read of a passerby, implying he was not there for the crucifixion, but more than likely because of the Passover, since he was from “Cyrene,” a Greek trading post on the Northern part of Africa.

But look at what is said.

Simon (who was there to celebrate Passover) encountered the one whom the Passover symbolically represented.

Seeking the Lord, He found Him.

Simon is also the father (spiritual head of the house) of Alexander and Rufus.

He took the cross of Jesus and carried it…sharing in Jesus’ suffering.

I believe this verse is a message to all of us to relate to Simon, but a special message to fathers with children…TAKE UP THE CROSS OF CHRIST JESUS AND SHARE IN HIS SUFFERING FOR SALVATION TO COME TO YOUR HOME.

Luke records Simon carrying the cross behind Jesus…following Him.

Matthew 16:24 “Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

This week, let us reflect on the following;

Luke 14: 26-27 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate [better translated ‘loves less’] his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

In other words, put the Lord first in your life, share in the sacrifice of Jesus, pick up your cross, and then you may follow Him.


What comes next is His death upon the cross, burial, and Resurrection Sunday!



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