Mark 11:7-10 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!"
There are a lot of people who just don't understand what the big deal is about Palm Sunday, partly because its not all in one big thing, but lots of little things that began to add up. Where should we begin? If we go back a few verses, we find Jesus and the pilgrim crowd on their way to Jerusalem, and passing through Jericho, Jesus gave blind Bartimeaus his sight, that was a miracle, not like the miracles of the OT, but big, the kind of thing only God could do. And God was with them, as Jesus journeyed with the pilgrim crowd to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
Leaving Jericho was time for song, and it wasn't something like 99 bottles of beer on the wall, something to pass the time, but time to sing the great psalms of deliverance, the psalms that praise God for his mighty works, psalms filled with the promises of God, and central to those promises, the promise of deliverance.
Psalm 113:7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
Psalm 114:7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob,
Psalm 115:11 You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 116:8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
Psalm 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
Psalm 118:25-26 Save us, we beseech thee, O LORD! O LORD, we beseech thee, give us success! Blessed be he who enters in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Imagine these psalms sung back and forth, over and over, and Jesus walking with all the others towards Jerusalem, imagine the stories that were told, wasn't this Jesus who had fed the 5,000, calmed the storm, cleansed the lepers, healed the lame, cast out demons - considering all that had already happened, what might be about to happen, was this going to be the beginning of the Kingdom of God?
With each mile that they walked the people were more and more ready for something to happen, with each psalm that they sang, they were more and more ready for the mighty acts of God, and his wonderful deliverance, to deliver them from all their trials and tribulations.
I want you to think how songs affect your lives, think about the commercial jingles, the songs you can't get out of your head, the melodies you find yourself humming for no particular reason, and remember that long before song was used for commercials, it was used to build people up in faith. Think of the songs that bind us together, the boys of a certain age, singing: girls are made of greasy grimy gopher guts… or the students united at the end of the year, singing: mine eyes have seen the glory of the closing of the school… ask yourself why sports teams have fight songs…
And if those pilgrims were preparing themselves to celebrate the great feast of Passover, how do we prepare ourselves to celebrate the greatest of all Passovers, the one we call Easter? The one we celebrate each and every Sunday. And consider the songs we have to sing of God's great deliverance. Songs to sing of God's steadfast love, his bountiful grace, and his infinite mercy, all the things which are ours in Jesus Christ.