It’s easy for us in the church today to look around us and be discouraged. At times it seems like nothing much good is happening. At times it can seem like Jesus is not at work. Sometimes it even seems as if our Lord Jesus Christ is not in control. As Hebrews 2:8 says,
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.”
Everything really is now in subjection to King Jesus. Everything. But at present it doesn’t always look that way to us, does it? Sometimes it seems like evil is winning. Sometimes it seems as if the Lord is not blessing our witness to His gospel and working through it to save and transform sinners. But He is.
Even the original Palm Sunday seems like a failure in some ways, doesn’t it?. Upon closer inspection the triumphal entry doesn’t seem all that triumphant. After all, we know that the crowds didn’t actually understand who Jesus was and what He came to do; most of them didn’t actually believe, and many of those same people were probably among the crowds that within a week’s time would be shouting “crucify Him!” (John 19:15). Even His own disciples didn’t even understand until later (John 12:16)!
But in Revelation 7:9-12, John writes,
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.””
That is a picture of heaven. In a sense that is the real Palm Sunday. The triumphal entry of Jesus Christ was a preview of heaven. As Palm Sunday reminds us of the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ, it reminds us that the Lord Jesus Christ is even now at work in the world, gathering and defending His church. We may have trouble seeing it at times, but one day it will be clear as day that “the world has gone after him” (John 12:19) because the Lord Jesus was going after the world, seeking and saving a multitude of sinners so great in number that no man will be able to begin to count them!