Everybody loves a parade. It is one venue for celebrating some great accomplishment.
A few weeks ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s orbit of the earth in a space craft. He led America on a new course of space exploration. There was a huge parade that covered a seven mile route, and most of the way they dumped tons of confetti. The sanitation department had to clean up 3,474 tons of tickertape!
I always enjoy the big parades when an athletic team wins a national or world championship. People turn out to celebrate. These parades filter down to our local communities when an athletic team wins a state tournament. There is excitement in the air.
Jesus was a part of a huge parade on Palm Sunday. Josephus, the Jewish historian, estimated that the crowd could have been over a million people.
They spread palm branches along the path and waved palm branches. In the day of Jesus the palms were a sign of victory. They were given to the winners of contests of strength and skill. Riding on the donkey was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah, who said, “Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
One of the great writer’s of the last century was Lloyd C. Douglas. In “The Robe” he tells of a slave, Demetrius, who was in the crowd on that first Palm Sunday. He makes his way through the multitude to observe who the center of attention is. He got close enough to look upon the face of Jesus.
Later he was confronted by another slave who wanted to know if he saw him – close up. Demetrius nodded affirmatively. When asked if Jesus was crazy, Demetrius shakes his head emphatically. When asked if he was a king, Demetrius says, “No, not a king.”
The other slave then demands, “If he is not a king, what is he then?” Demetrius say, “I don’t know, but he is something more than a king.” The parade was centered on someone who was more than a king. He was the Son of God.
The scene changed dramatically during the week. By Friday he has been betrayed, gone through an unjust trial, and nailed to a cross. While the cross was to many a symbol of defeat, it became the symbol for victory over sin and death.
The Italian artist Tintoretto painted a picture of Christ upon the Cross. In the background you see a donkey eating palm leaves. That picture speaks volumes.
The palms were a symbol of victory. The Cross and resurrection became the symbols of ultimate victory.
The best parade will not be a celebration here on earth. The big parade will be held in our Father’s Place that He has prepared for us. Everyone loves a parade, but parades here on earth don’t last long. They can take a sudden, drastic change. Being a part of the heavenly processional will be an unending celebration of victory!
Read about the celebration parade in the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21. It will be a part of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
While everyone loves a parade, be sure you are a part of the unending parade!