Palm Sunday’s Hidden Surprise

Like a Child--Palm Sunday's Hidden Surprise

Like a Child: Palm Sunday’s Hidden Surprise
Photo credit (w/o text): D. Garding on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

For my kids, Easter baskets always came a week early.

On Palm Sunday.

My mother-in-law sewed adorable outfits, matched them with sweet fancy hats, and brought baskets full of goodies. A Palm Sunday tradition I believe started by my husband’s grandma.

Why?

Because that was the day people celebrated Christ’s triumphal entry. Hailing His kingship. His coming kingdom.

Palm branches and parties and cheering and shouting, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:38).

Did they understand everything they were saying? No, obviously not, because just a week later, they were crying out, “Crucify Him.”

But Christ didn’t rebuke them.

In fact, He told the Pharisees, “If these people were silent, the rocks would cry out” (v.40).

No, He didn’t rebuke them.

But He did weep. “Would that you had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (v.42).

Of course, after the fact, we do know what that peace cost. Christ’s life. His death on the cross. A death scientifically planned to bring the most agony.

But more than that, it meant Christ, a perfect man, taking on our sin.

All of it.

Every.

Single.

Sin.

Big or small.

And giving us His righteousness. Changing us to look more and more like Him.

That’s what makes real peace.

But our world—our nation—keeps screaming for what it thinks peace is.

Like the people two thousand years ago outside Jerusalem, are we looking for that peace in the wrong place?

Whoa, we were talking about sweet Easter baskets, weren’t we? For kids?

Yep.

And on that first Palm Sunday, kids played a big part.

That day, the people called for peace. Clamoring for a new king that would give them back their country. Overthrow the Romans who ruled over them. Let them rule themselves.

But Jesus knew that wasn’t peace. Not lasting peace, at any rate.

That kingdom wouldn’t last. Because it wouldn’t take long to start arguing about which “them” was fit to rule. (Sound familiar?)

Instead, Christ described a different kind of kingdom. “Let the little children come to Me. For of SUCH is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

Of what? Of children. Infants. Babies.

Weak. Needing help. Unable to take care of themselves and willing to admit it.

Just ask a newborn mom. When is a baby at peace?

In his mama’s arms. Usually nursing.

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (v.17).

Once when we were at an event, we got separated from our five-year-old. We reached the bleachers only to realize we were missing a kid. Looking across the packed gym floor, we saw him sitting high up on a gentleman’s shoulders. Looking for us. Bawling.

Everyone around him knew what he wanted. Knew who he needed.

My son didn’t stop crying until he was back in his daddy’s arms. (And, believe me, my husband took off running to get him.)

That’s the way a child enters the kingdom of God. Knowing his only peace comes from being in God’s kingdom. Knowing only his God can get him there.

To Christ, children were special.

Matthew 21:15-16 proves it.

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that Christ did and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant, and they said to Him, ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read,

Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies
You have prepared praise”?’”

What was Christ quoting?

Psalm 8:2.

And Matthew 11:25, “I praise You, Father, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

There it is. The real Easter hunt.

Oh, that we would accept it like children. With wonder. With excitement. With simplicity. Knowing we can’t do it on our own.

Crying out to Him. Entering into His kingdom. Running into His arms.

Finding Real peace. Through Christ.

All wrapped up as a gift.

The first Easter basket.

***

Friend, I hope you know that Real peace. If you’d like to know more, I’d love to talk with you through email or facebook.

***

And if you’re looking for some sweet Easter (or Palm Sunday) basket gifts for your young child or grandchild, feel free to check out my post at MightyMoms,

6 Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas that Will Thrill Your Little Bunny
6 Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas

Candy-Free Easter Basket Ideas

Guaranteed NOT to give any sugar-highs. And several of the gifts teach young ones—and old—about the real meaning of Easter.

5 thoughts on “Palm Sunday’s Hidden Surprise

  1. Hala Daghfal says:

    Elizabeth, your writing is amazingly beautiful. May the Lord bless you and use you.
    I, sometimes wonder if it is true what everyone says that the same people who shouted “Hosanna “ were the same who shouted “Crusify Him”. I think that most of the children and, may be, their parents were still asleep when Christ’s trial was taking place in the middle of the night. When the mob reached Pilot most people were not even aware of what had happened. Yet on the day of Pentecost Peter told them that YOU crucified Him. So I do not know if by being ignorant they already consented to the act? Ignorance is sin, I know, but still I am wondering if the same people are the ones who shouted crusify Him.
    By the way, we still pray “Thy kingdom come” !! And I miss making little lacy dresses and hats. Yet those lacy dresses have nothing to do with “egg hunt.” Egg hunt, to me, is of pagan origin.
    I love you and love your wonderful writing and ideas.

    • Interesting thoughts on having different people. Some people didn’t even know what was happening on Palm Sunday, hence the “who is this man?” But I think you’ll agree with me that most of the people did not understand the type of kingdom He would bring on Palm Sunday. Just like you said, it’s one that we only see in part even after His Resurrection. We are part of His kingdom, but we don’t receive all the benefits until He returns. –Wouldn’t it be great if it were today?!!

  2. What a great reminder! I think of all the times I resist being like a child in God’s kingdom because I want to be smart in my own eyes. I want to do things in my own strength, I want to do things my own way, and I get tired of facing my own sin, self-righteousness, and pride. But what a perfect picture! The infant in its mother’s arms, nursing. The epitome of dependence, yet the ultimate peace. Now fast forward that baby 20, 30, and 40 years down the road. Tough to find that same peace without the innocence of childhood. And with the storms of life around us. Now that our eyes have been opened to so much more–the evil and complexities of life. Yet this place of peace is still where God wants us. In His arms, resting. Taking nourishment. From Him. Yet why is it so hard sometimes?

    • Good question on the hardness. Is it because we forget how He’s already brought us through so much? Is it because of our own pride? Is it because we want to be in control? Funnier yet, why am I frequently most lacking in peace when it comes to my children’s lives?

  3. All those answers are valid. And yes, funny thing about our kids . . . our lack of peace with them is probably because they are NOT sitting peacefully on our laps anymore! Makes me feel out of control . . .

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