Palm Sunday – Why Jesus pleaded that we pick up our cross

Written by Katlego Hlongwane

In Exodus 12, God instructs Moses and Aaron on the preparations for Passover, of which they would have to retell to the Children of Israel. God tells them that on the 10th day of the new month, which begins a new year in scripture, each household is to select a lamb, without blemish, a year-old male. This lamb was to live with them until the 14th day, on that day the whole congregation of Israel would kill the lamb.

The Passover feast was and still is massive in Israel, but in the times of Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew), it was so important that Yeshua and His disciples kept the feast. Yeshua’s arrival in Jerusalem was to keep the feast and also reveal Himself as the Passover lamb that would atone for the sins of the world and restore the relationship between God and man.

It is not a coincidence that the people in John 12 celebrated the arrival of Yeshua, and laid out palm trees for him, which are symbolic of righteousness, they welcomed him into their homes (hearts) they sing Hosanna and accepted him as the King of Israel, after all it was written in Zechariah 9:9

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

A prophesy and law is being fulfilled here, and we are now seeing it. But what many could not perceive at the time was the instruction that was given in Exodus 12, and preparations that God spoke of was being played out right in front of them. God’s very own instruction to the Children of Israel on how they should begin the preparations for Passover 4 days before the actual day in which the spotless lamb (Jesus) would be sacrificed by the whole congregation of Israel. Jesus did it because of the of joy that was set before Him. He knew that His death would bear much fruit for Children of God, and He echoes it

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

He spoke these words on the very day that a lot of Christians are observing Palm Sunday. Yeshua did not take part in Palm Sunday, he was taking part in the Passover preparations, keeping God’s instruction in Exodus 12 as well as fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9.  He foretold of His death and the reasons why. To bear much fruit, to bear us, and call us back to a covenant relationship with God. But what really sticks out for me, is what He says next;

“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. John 12: 25-26”  

Yeshua is calling us to take up our own crosses as he did. To look at the life He lived and walk the same way He did, in the instructions (commandments) of God, to walk in righteousness, to surrender our lives for others, to serve and ultimately honour God. Glorify God, esteem the Father as He did.

What a plea, which vibrates so passionately in my heart. His death gave us salvation, His death restored God’s creation back to the creator. More importantly what His death did was display fully and completely how to love God and love thy neighbour. Yes, truly truly he is the son of God, The same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The one that God said he was well pleased with, so listen to Him.



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