April 2, 2023
Palm Sunday - Hindsight is 20/20
“Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of His disciples. As He came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, He sent two disciples ahead. ‘Go into that village over there,’ He told them. ‘As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ And the disciples simply replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’ So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for Him to ride on. As He rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of Him. When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. ‘Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!’ But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your followers for saying things like that!’ He replied, ‘If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!’” (Luke 19:28-40)
People say that hindsight is always 20/20. Sometimes, when we are in certain situations, we tend to make things out to be something they are not. In those instances, we sometimes develop a false understanding of what is happening. Afterwards, we often kick ourselves, thinking, “If I had only known then what I know now, I certainly would have done things differently. At the very least, I would have had a different perspective.” Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem must have been one of those moments for His disciples. It had been an amazing day for them all. How incredible to see all of those people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. It had been amazing, but for different reasons than the disciples had realized. They believed that the Messiah had come to reestablish Israel’s power in the world, but the Lord had something completely different in mind.
The disciples weren’t the only ones who had misconceptions about Jesus as Messiah. There were many Jews of the day who expected Jesus to be an earthly king. When the crowds heard that He was entering Jerusalem, they shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Today, Christians use the word “Hosanna” as an expression of praise. However, in Jesus’ day, the Jews used the word “Hosanna” when expressing an appeal for divine help. It was as if they were crying out, “Please save us now!” The people saw Jesus as their new King, who had come to bring them salvation, not from their own sins, but from political and societal oppression. In their way of thinking, “If Jesus could raise the dead, there was no doubt that He could also restore the kingdom of David and restore the Israelites from Roman rule.
Seated on a donkey, Jesus must have resembled a king returning to His city in peacetime with His loyal subjects lining the road before Him, laying down their coats and raising palm branches into the air. On that Palm Sunday, even the Pharisees were watching Jesus in indignation, saying, “Look, the world has gone after Him.” (John 12:19) The world has gone after Jesus, but in different ways than what was expected. As we stated before, hindsight is 20/20. Seeing Jesus from our perspective, let us determine in our hearts to worship and follow Him, even if others quickly reject Him, as many in the crowd were soon to do.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Think back on a time when you realized that Jesus was different than you had imagined and finally surrendered your life to Him. Think about a time when you began to see the Lord’s will unfold for you in surprising ways. Today, look for opportunities to share your insight with a friend, coworker, or neighbor. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, dialogue about what it must have been like to have been in the Jerusalem crowd on that first Palm Sunday, then discuss how many of the people had the wrong perspective about Jesus’ objective. Then, pray together and thank the Lord for the real reason He came to live among us.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I shout “Hosanna” to You today. I worship You today and thank You for the salvation You offer us. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.