Palm Sunday and God’s Plan

Our plans and God's plan tend to clash, as they did on Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.Our plans sometimes bring us into conflict with God’s plan. This clash between our reality and God’s reality also happened on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem. Read on to find out why this happens, and what we can learn from it. 

Have you ever heard the saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”? If so, you know that it means that no matter how carefully a project is planned something may still go wrong. It’s a line from a poem called, To a Mouse written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. It’s an apology to the mouse for upturning its nest while Burns was ploughing his field.

You see, the mouse’s plans for the field were not the same as the farmer’s plans and that’s why they went wrong. The mouse was the lower creature. The mouse’s plans were restricted to a small area of the field and were to simply prosper its family. The farmer was a higher power with a higher plan which was to prosper the whole village. There was room for the mouse in the farmer’s plan as there would be an abundance of food for all, but of course the mouse was incapable of understanding this.

There was a much bigger clash of plans in Jerusalem during Holy Week.  Men, who as part of creation, are the lower creatures, had opposing plans to God who is the higher power as Creator. However, just like the mouse, they could not see the greater plan.  Jerusalem was expecting a Messiah to save the Jewish nation from the suppression of Rome and their exorbitant taxes. They expected a warrior, a hero, a King who would ride in on a warhorse, and lead them to defeat and rulership over the Romans. Conversely, God was working out His perfect plan to save all the nations of the world from the dark sin stain that had entered creation’s beauty. They did not understand that God’s voice of prophecy had already rung out with the promise of future deliverance through Jesus Christ. There are over 300 places throughout scripture that attest to this. The Jewish nation thought that salvation was only needed for them from their enemies but God knew that mankind was condemned unless a substitute was found.

The Triumphant Entry

If they had believed the prophecies, they would have understood that on Palm Sunday the Messiah, the Saviour, would have to ride into Jerusalem on a humble donkey.  It was predicted:

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9. 

It was predicted that Jerusalem would acclaim Jesus as King and they did as the higher power will prevail. They shouted Hosanna, which is Hebrew for Save us, as Jesus rode into Jerusalem bringing God’s peace with Him.

…God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ…  2 Corinthians 5:19. 

Palm Sunday was the day that the Jews who were celebrating Passover were commanded to select their unblemished lamb ready to be slaughtered five days later. They didn’t see that Jesus was entering the same time as God’s lamb, the “… Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. He would be slaughtered as their substitute:

… you were redeemed…the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  1 Peter 1:19.  

But the human condition on Palm Sunday was that of Robert Burn’s mouse. The sacrifice for sin by Jesus to redeem us from our fallen human condition had not yet happened. They were incapable of seeing the bigger plan for the salvation but today, we can see from scripture that the Passover lamb has been sacrificed.

For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 1 Corinthians 5:7. 

God’s Plan

We are capable of seeing God’s plan throughout Holy week and the bigger plan for us which was not just to bless Israel but all nationalities, all genders and all socioeconomic groups.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Galatians 3:28

If we truthfully look at Holy week we will see in God’s higher plan for us His love and compassion. If you doubt that God loves you then take a good look at that garden in Gethsemane. Jesus was sick with sorrow. He was no coward – so why was He sweating blood?

Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death… Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will…” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”  Matthew 26:38-42

It was the separation that was the problem. Jesus had never been separated from the Godhead. We see the work of the Father and the Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation, the birth of Jesus, right through His ministry. But now as wholly man on the cross He had to carry the sins alone. The Father was to separate Himself from Jesus, the first time ever, and the thought of it was killing Jesus.  The Father and Holy Spirit were willing to do this to save the world. Jesus as our Saviour by those most wonderful words of resignation to the greater plan, “May your will be done!” resigned Himself to the greater plan by submitting his plan to our loving Father.

Have you got small mouse plans for yourself?  Are you putting your ways first?  If yes, then be sure that, like Robert Burns says, they will go awry.  Won’t you submit yourself to the greater plan, God’s plan, for your lives? Choose Jesus the Lamb that was slain before the creation of the world to be your King. Then you can be sure that His plans for you will not go awry.  So join with me and the procession that was there on Palm Sunday and cry, “Hosanna – blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!”

This message is an abridged version of a sermon given by Andrea Lock on 20 March, 2016. Please contact us with any questions about our healing ministry or church services. Bless you this Easter season!