On what we now call Palm Sunday, the disciples were exhilarated as Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem revealed the joy of the masses for Him. It probably appeared to be a wonderful day for them – and it was, but for different reasons than they realized. They thought the Messiah had come to reestablish Israel’s power in the world.
The disciples weren’t the only ones who had misconceptions about the Messiah. Many Jews expected Him to be an earthly king. When the crowds heard Jesus was coming, they shouted, “Hosanna,” which means “save now” (John 12:13). They saw Him as their new king, come to bring salvation from political and societal oppression. This may be the main reason Judas helped the Pharisees locate Jesus – to push Him into starting His new kingdom.
Since Jesus had raised the dead, they assumed He could also restore the kingdom of David and free them from Roman rule.
Of course, we know now that Jesus’ triumphal entry was really the beginning of His death with God’s meritorious miracle of raising Him from the dead.
But what if there is no resurrection?
Other than the despair and hopelessness we’d experience, we would realize that Jesus would still be dead. That means our faith in Him would be worthless and our message to the world would be a lie. What’s more, Jesus Himself would be proved a liar since He claimed that He would rise from the dead.
There would be no forgiveness of our sins, no possibility of reconciliation with God, and no hope ever of heaven. All deceased believers throughout history would have perished forever. Without the resurrection, there would be nothing positive for anyone to look forward to. Everybody’s destiny after death would be hell.
The stone would still be in place and Jesus would be like all the other prophets and gods from other religions throughout the world – He would be dead and we would be able to see His burial place.
But Jesus did rise from the dead! His disciples and over 500 people saw him over a period of 40 days!
He appeared with them to demonstrate to His followers that He truly was alive. They knew the Roman authorities had put Jesus to death and that His body had been taken down from the cross, wrapped in a burial cloth, and sealed in a tomb. Who could escape the Roman soldiers as they guarded the tomb? They were filled with such despair and fear; many went into hiding. They had believed Jesus was actually the promised Messiah – and now their hopes were shattered. They felt they had no future.
But when Jesus appeared among them after the resurrection, their lives were changed.
These burly disciples had been hiding in fear, cowards for their lives. Something had to have happened to change them from shaking, fearful men to bold men proclaiming that Christ was truly the Messiah! And that something was the resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Yes, when Jesus appeared among them, their lives were changed. The greatest miracle in all history had just taken place: Jesus Christ was alive! During those 40 days, He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond doubt to them that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God! Over two decades later, the Apostle Paul wrote that “He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
There is nothing more powerful in all of existence than the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Is your faith in Him? If it is, then His Holy Spirit will live in you – and give you the same power to live your life that raised Jesus from the dead!
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31
If you are not sure about trusting God for your salvation or even where to start, this verse is all you need to know to have salvation:
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10