The Shout of Palm Sunday

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Zechariah 9:10

Tissot, The Procession in the Streets of JerusalemAnd after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

And it happened that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount called “of Olives,” He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

So when those who were sent departed, they found it just as He had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and after they threw their garments on the colt, they put Jesus on it. And as He was going, they were spreading their garments on the road. Now as soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God, rejoicing with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying,

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Luke 19:28–38 LSB

As Jesus entered Jerusalem the Sunday before He was crucified, all four Gospels record the crowds shouting the words of Psalm 118:26,

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh

This won’t be the only appearance of Psalm 118 this week. Not only does the crowd shout it to Jesus, Jesus will quote it as He confronts the Pharisees, and in all likelihood Psalm 118 will be sung by Jesus the evening before He dies.

The ongoing use this week of the psalm is significant because Psalm 118 is a Passover psalm. It was sung in remembrance and praise to God for delivering His people from their slavery to the Egyptians. It’s one of six psalms, Psalms 113–118, known as the Egyptian Hallel,1 traditionally sung at Passover.

Hallel means “Praise.”2 On Palm Sunday this Passover psalm was sung in praise to the Passover Lamb who came to deliver His people from their slavery to sin.

The shout of Palm Sunday anticipated the joy of Easter morning.

Tropical Trees – Lagos Zoo – The Algarve, Portugal. CC BY-SA 2.0. Cropped.
The Procession in the Streets of Jerusalem (Le cortège dans les rues de Jérusalem): James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum. Public Domain
LSB: Legacy Standard Bible New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs (Steadfast Bibles, Irvine CA: 2021).
1, 2Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150 (Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England: 1975) 383, 401.

Copyright ©2014–2022 Iwana Carpenter

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