And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“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)
As Palm Sunday nears, many will ponder that triumphant entry in to Jerusalem of our Lord Jesus Christ as the season of Passover was about to begin, and also how contradictory this journey would seem when considering what happened to Him within a matter of days. There is much to observe from Palm Sunday, and yet there is something that seems proclaimed that should bring event greater joy.
The waving of the palms, and other branches, point to what will come, and its season. For in their day these celebrations about the coming Messiah were spoken of in the words of the Old Testament.
“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord, For He is coming to judge the earth. (1 Chronicles 16:33)
The waving and praising a prophetic act. The people agreeing with the prophecies of old that point to even creation celebrating the coming of the King of kings in the end of times. Here the people become the trees as they hold the branches, wave them, and declare blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
In there actions too they point to the timing of such a return, for in their actions they harken to another celebration, the one of Tabernacles. Where branches are gathered to celebrate deliverance, and the journey to the promised land in the tabernacles.
And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. (Leviticus 23:40 – see also reference in Nehemiah 8:16-18).
This idea of such a celebration of Christ’s (second) coming, and the linkages to trees rejoicing and tabernacles, perhaps is revealed best in the desire of Peter’s to build a tabernacle when Christ is transfigured.
Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Matthew 17:4)
In his own humanity, Peter looking to welcome and encourage the Lord’s dwelling presence by building a tabernacle, not knowing in fact that He is building such a place in us. Who can blame Peter for his actions, especially in light of the prophecies in Scripture.
So at Passover the Messiah entered in to Jersualem to not only reveal His first coming through His death and resurrection, Christ was also revealing the timing of His second coming at the time of Tabernacles. This is where God’s people dwell with Him in His tabernacle for eternity, entering in to the fullness of His Tabernacle…and promised land for all who believed on Him, Jew or Gentile. To help us in our journey, to prepare the way for His return (including His Bride…the body of Christ) the Lord sends His Spirit at Pentecost, and by Him who made His tabernacle in us, being a type of first fruits of His complete work when He is on (new) earth with His bride, as He is in heaven. Thank you Holy Spirit you prepare for the Lord return, and by your presence, gifts, and power blessing us with all we need in God to partner in the preparation of the final Tabernacle celebration.
So let us rejoice, and wave our palms branches on Sunday, knowing we also agree with the decree that He comes again one day, in the season of Tabernacles. Joining with the saints of old, saying Blessed is He we comes in the name of the Lord.
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13)
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