I am speaking figuratively about how there is much more to “grasp” about the Lord’s famous and celebrated entrance into the city of Jerusalem. This event is extra relevant to all of us because on a deeper, symbolic level, it is played out constantly within our hearts and minds.
Palm Sunday provides a revealing lesson as to what most humans expect and want from a divine Savior. When the Lord doesn’t meet our personal expectations on earth we turn against Him!
This is why the crowds first celebrated the Lord’s entry into the city but in less than a week they fervently support His execution. That is an amazing about-face! The multitudes expected the Lord to turn the tables on the oppressive and powerful ruling class and spread the wealth around. But Jesus proves “impotent” regarding this worldly wish, and even seems unconcerned about elevating people’s living conditions.
This disappointment is bound to happen, because in our everyday, habitual mind, we expect God to make our terrestrial lives better. But the Lord God had His focus on our eternal happiness and therefore His actions on earth were horribly misinterpreted. A deeper and symbolic grasp of Scripture is needed.
The Lord did not enter the city on a war chariot but on an ass’s colt—this was a highly symbolic gesture. So let us put Palm Sunday in the palm of our hands by bringing this symbolic and meaningful event within the power of our understanding.
A “city” represents a worldview or belief system. The Lord’s entering into Jerusalem symbolizes an attempt to bring a new and more important influence into the worldview of humanity.
A donkey represents that which carries serviceable items for our travels. Symbolically or psycho-spiritually, a person’s understanding and rational mind does the same thing for one’s inner spirit—for it carries serviceable ideas and values wherever we go. Riding on an ass’s colt (a young donkey) symbolizes innocence, which is the essence of legitimate spiritual affection. Therefore, the Lord sitting atop a young donkey represents a Being who is of greatest serviceability to humanity in a most humble and important way—to teach the world about eternal salvation. Riding on an ass’s colt also signifies the human rational mind made subordinate to the Lord as king—as when we turn over the reins to the Lord and allow His teaching to direct our thoughts and lives. This submission to the Lord’s leadership and rule is further signified by the placing of one’s garments underneath Him.
The laying down of “palm fronds” along the Lord’s path symbolized the people’s acceptance and delight that true goodness was coming their way. But the nature of that “goodness” and the Lord’s true purpose went right over their heads! Instead of the promise of eternal heavenly life and happiness, most people in Jerusalem were expecting a power change whereby they would be on the receiving end of worldly rewards and benefits.
So this Palm Sunday, ask yourself—what do you really want from God?