Listen Live
Listen Live

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PALM SUNDAY

Today is Palm Sunday. It marks the beginning of the holy week. Christians all over the world are, today, commemorating the triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the holy city. It is worthy of mention that Christ’s triumphal entry and riding of an ass on this historic day was in fulfillment of what was written in the book of Zechariah chapter 9 verse 9.

As Jesus went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When Jesus came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. Shouts of “hosanna in the highest” rent the air.

The Bible records in Luke 19:41 that “as Christ approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept overview it”. This development was indeed an ironic sidelight! Under normal circumstances, the pomp and pageantry that greeted Christ’s triumphal entry should have intensified and known no bounds as He approached Jerusalem, the holy city.

A renowned Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, writes that “there are cities to be wept over, and none to be more lamented than Jerusalem, that has been the holy city, and the joy of the whole earth, if it be degenerated”. The name, Jerusalem, came originally from Hebrew, “Ir shalem”, meaning “city of shalom” or “city of peace”. Jerusalem’s ancient biblical name appears to have been Salem (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:2; Psalm 76:2).

Jerusalem has been aptly called the “spiritual capital of the world”, a judgement underscored by the United Nations’ resolution of 1947 to designate it an international holy city. To students of the Bible and history, it is perhaps the world’s most fascinating community, being one of the world’s best preserved medical walled cities, and sacred to the three leading monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

The story of Christ’s disillusionment did not end there. He proceeded to the temple and got more distressing surprises. Much to His utter astonishment, Christ discovered that God’s temple which was designed to be a “house of prayer” was converted to a “den of robbers”.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If Christ visits any of our “Jerusalems” or churches today, how would He feel, and what would be His reaction? The answer is that Christ would not just weep, He would also ululate, howl and wail!

Obviously, there is a sad decline in true spirituality amongst the majority of our present-day Christians. We have stopped listening to God; we have been caught by the covetous spirit of our affluent society, and worshipped the false god of materialism.

We, the present day Christians have deviated from the challenging faith of the early Christians. “Churchianity” now appears to have overtaken Christianity. This could be the reason why someone asserted that “Christianity in Nigeria is one hundred miles wide but one inch deep.”

The whole ugly situation is exacerbated by the fact that many church leaders of today are more interested in the money they make than in the souls of their followers. What matters more is money. Money seems to have overtaken true Christian quality.

The market place is now flooded by shades of evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic and new churches. The ease with which converts flow from one to the other is intriguing. Prosperity preaching is gradually displacing the sound salvation message of the gospel of Christ.

In most of these new generation churches “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” as recorded in Matthew chapter 6 verse 33 is becoming a repugnant religious clichĂ© as preachers find it unattractive to their followers. Sadly, It is, by leaps and bounds, being replaced with misleading prosperity messages. Some of these churches are funded by occultic men and women, armed robbers, 419 practitioners, yahoo boys, notorious politicians, et cetera.

In a bid to retain them and their money in such churches, the church owners have learnt to avoid preaching any message that would hurt them. Political correctness seems to have taken precedence! Consequently, they carry on with their evil practices.

It is equally pathetic that indecent dressing has found a comfortable place in the church. In fact, the dress code of many female worshippers is nothing to write home about. Some ladies wear mini-skirts and trousers to church but nobody confronts them.

Unless these abominable trends are quickly redressed, our Lord Jesus Christ would surely weep more than He did at Jerusalem if He takes a trip to the present-day Christian Churches.

WRITTEN BY REVEREND CANON CHIDI NLEMCHUHUKWU, AN ANGLICAN PRIEST

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Hot Topics

Related Articles