Today is called “Palm Sunday.” It’s when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people honored him with their equivalent of a parade, waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13). These words came from Psalm 118:26. In Old Testament times, people waved palm branches during various feasts or times of celebration and gladness. Hosanna means “Save now.”
Hindsight is usually perfect. Yet while we are in a particular situation, we tend to make things out to be what they aren’t and infer wrong meanings. We kick ourselves, thinking, If only I had known then what I know now!
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem must have been one of those moments for His disciples. It had appeared to be such a wonderful day for them — and it was, but for different reasons than they realized. They thought the Messiah had come to re-establish Israel’s power in the world. But God had something else in mind. The disciples weren’t the only ones who had misconceptions about the Messiah. Many Jews of the day expected Him to be an earthly king. They saw Him as their new King, coming to bring salvation from political and societal oppression. He raised the dead — no doubt he could also restore the kingdom of David and free them from Roman rule.
God, You don’t always work the ways that we expect or want, but Your ways are always perfect. Help me to accept this. And Lord, as I think back to those times when circumstances looked one way but turned out to be something else entirely, remind me how Your ways always work best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.