Church of the Open Door


(Palm Sunday): The Tension Behind Palm Sunday; by Dr. Glenn Jago

The Tension Behind Palm Sunday

John 12:12-19

The triumphal procession into Jerusalem would appear to be an invitation to dream big and receive amazing results. For instance, some will say, “If you aspire to dream big and live out of the box of shallow thinking, then greater things are coming your way.” Unfortunately, some do interpret this procession as merely a call to follow Jesus and take massive risks to gain your best life now. However, is that really how we should view this particular episode?

The Scriptures often speak about the blessings we receive from obeying the Lord, but it also speaks regarding the conflicts. The tension within conflict does not automatically indicate God’s judgment. Instead, the struggle often denotes God’s most significant accomplishment. Palm Sunday is about Jesus Christ taking that irreversible step toward His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Beneath the surface of the visible, exaltation and celebration, are seeds of misunderstanding, ignorance, and hatred, not admiration.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ willingly received this praise but did not let it be His end goal.

The tension:

  1. In the welcome of the King – John 12:12-15
  2. In the witness about the King – John 12:9, 16-18
  3. In the wrestling against the King – John 12:19

Some thoughts:

  1. Spiritual appetite for the sensational does not equate biblical faith in Jesus’ finished work (John 6:14-15, 66)
  2. Spiritual abiding in Christ does not erase misunderstanding, which necessitates ongoing growth.
  3. Our zeal in worship may contain mixed motives, which requires analysis.
  4. What does Romans 1-11, Ephesians 1-3, and Colossians 1-2 have in common?

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