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A Palm Sunday Message from Billy Graham

Today, Christians around the world are celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which we usually call “Palm Sunday,” because the crowd welcomed Him by spreading palm branches in His path). Those who greeted Him were convinced He was the Messiah (or “anointed one”), sent by God to establish His Kingdom on earth.

Why did the crowds turn against Jesus so quickly? One week they welcomed Him, and the next week they demanded He be crucified.

Billy Graham addressed this important question numerous times in his My Answer column.

“No events in human history were more important than Jesus’ death and resurrection, and yet many people (even Christians) never take time to study them.

It must have been a dramatic sight as Jesus approached Jerusalem on a donkey (which was a sign of His humility). The Bible says that “the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices … ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!'” (Luke 19:37-38). Even those who weren’t part of that welcoming crowd listened eagerly to His teaching during the next few days.

But not everyone in Jerusalem welcomed Him; the very next verse says that “the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?'” But soon many turned against Jesus and demanded His death: “‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify him!'” (Matthew 27:22).

These weren’t necessarily the same people who had welcomed Him—but the reversal is still striking. Were they disappointed because He refused to establish an earthly political kingdom? Probably. But Jesus didn’t come to set up a new political system. He came instead to change our hearts and save us from our sins by His death and resurrection. He declared during that last week, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight. … My kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). This deeply disappointed those who hoped He would throw out the hated Roman occupiers. They may also have disliked His demand that they repent.

Where would you have been on that first Palm Sunday? Among the disciples who welcomed Him—or among the skeptical crowds? It’s easy to condemn those who condemned Jesus—but would we have acted any differently? We too are sinners, and we too have rebelled against God.

But the central message of Easter is that God still loves us, and because of Christ we can be forgiven. He came for one reason: “Christ died for sins once for all … to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). May you welcome Him into your life during this holy season.”

Follow the Steps to Peace online to learn about Jesus or recommit your life to Him.

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32 Comments

  1. Jeff Kraus says:

    Many people I loved lived their lives carelessly; now they’re gone. I miss ‘em every day. The ones who knew the Lord & were saved, I’ll see again. The ones who weren’t are lost. Listen to the discord and dysfunction that permeates society. I feel the emptiness in hollow hearts – how they rely on what the world offers for peace and happiness. Without the Lord, the world is empty. When life ends, it is nothing more than a dead end or worse. There is today and maybe tomorrow. No one will ever separate me from my Jesus, God’s only son. I pray for my family and friends that each of you invite Jesus into your heart. He is the best and only “real deal.” America, our children & grandchildren need to claim Him more than ever.

  2. Marjorie says:

    To know he came for me. He bared all that I (I) might be able to be in heaven with him forever. The greatest love I have ever known.

  3. Olakunle says:

    Good word sir. I understand something v.clearlly that God allowed the ‘plot’ so that HIS ‘plan’ can come true.

  4. Gayle says:

    That is just so awesome. Thank you for this message. Even as Christ hung on the cross He asked His Father to forgive them too. Love permiates your messages Billy God bless you!

  5. Susan Monaghan says:

    I think Jesus Christ is my Savior! I am very grateful for preachers like Rev. Billy Graham who help us learn about The Bible and The Word of God! Thank you Rev. Graham, you are a great light in our world!!

  6. Carl says:

    I agree, I find myself understanding God, then when
    Problems come, getting frustrated. So yes as a human
    Being it is very easy to see how we could have
    Loved him one week and the next, want his crucifixion.
    We are very weak, Jesus is strong. But now I realize how
    My feelings can really get in the way. I’m glad God is more
    Stable then me.

  7. Evangelist Nadeem Hamid says:

    God bless You. This is heart touching Message. Jesus Christ won the hearts of human beings. He did not fight a physical war. He loved and loves the people. I love Billy Graham. He is the man whose book changed my life. I love You Pastor Billy Graham. Be happy and healthy in Christ. Amen

  8. Syster says:

    What if we outwardly welcomed Him as Our King today?

    Some would be jealous; especially the politicians & their followers.

    Most Christians are too loving & faithful to be among those who chose to crucify Him. It was the choice of those who thought physical power over another was stronger. They’re wrong. Physical suffering brings us to be of the world. Emotional suffering is Healed by His Love. It was God’s last desire to learn about being human. Physical torture was the end, & He understood humans better & forgave what we repented to.

    Agape to all.

  9. Eric Shaktman says:

    I am not worthy of God’s Grace! But I am sure glad He forgives my sins!

  10. Travua says:

    If I were there on Palm Sunday, I wouldn’t have understood who Christ was. I may have accepted him at first thinking he would removed the Romans, then quickly rejected him when I realized that wasn’t so. Today I am thankful to have had Preachers, Churches, Teachers, and Followers who have sacrificed so much to spread the word. Without them, I would still be ignorant of the truth and lost.

    1. Travis says:

      My name is Travis. Didn’t realize that typo until I submitted.

    2. Lisa says:

      Travis, that is a very honest, truthful assessment of how many of us would’ve responded. I too am thankful that we have people like Billy Graham and so many countless other teachers to teach us that which we would not otherwise understand. God Bless You for your honesty!

  11. John Bolick says:

    It amazes me when answers can be found if one only takes the time to look for them. “Ask’ and it will be given to you; ‘Seek’ and you will find; ‘knock’ and the door will be opened to you…” Matthew 7: 7-8

    Until you ‘Ask’…the answers won’t be given; until you ‘seek’ answers, you won’t find any; until you ‘knock’, the door to the answers won’t be opened to you!

    Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12! About 700 Years before Christ came – a description of the event – ‘The Suffering and Glory of the Servant’ – There can’t be a better description of WHO Isaiah was describing. What strength…and what love…especially when you think that the power of Jesus had – all the angels at his beck and call…could have said, “Father! I’ve changed my mind! Destroy them and everything in this world full of sin! It’s not worth it!” But he didn’t. It’s all there if you simply pray and look for the answers for why we celebrate and why it HAD to happen this way. I thank him many times a day for his sacrifice. He’s Lord and Savior and deserves it all…our love and our gratitude. Such a poor word choice for what he did for us! – jB

  12. Harpman says:

    I met the Lord in 1972 when a friend of mine was bold enough and patient enough to help see me into the kingdom. I wake up every day thanking Him for another opportunity to serve Him. Life has not always been easy in my family but I have come to see my 3 children be saved, my daughter in laws are saved, and one of my step grand daughters are saved (the other one is 9 months old) I still am praying for my father (85) after all these years. This article is a reminder to remember Who we serve and why we serve Him. The earthly body gradually fails, the soul needs to be saved from sin, the spirit we receive from Him is eternal. Lets use the gifts He has given us to further His kinddom

  13. Vinod Pandit says:

    Glory To The LORD

    Yes HE really come to rule our heart.
    He is our KING.

  14. Omosebirichard says:

    Lord I know am one of those that crucified you due to my sins , I come before you today,come have mercy on me forgive me all my iniquities and wash me with your blood.

  15. Gumhei Mpom says:

    Beautiful message Billy. May God bless you.

  16. Ida Brown says:

    Praise the Lord !

  17. Pastor Yesuratnam Taneti says:

    Dear Spiritual father
    Happy Easter Wishes and Greetings to you and your family as we celebrate Our Father’s greatest sacrifice through His Son, Jesus Christ. Have a blessed Easter!
    Thank you so much for your message His might name through the world.He is coming soon again.Please do pray for my family and ministry works.We love you so much dear spiritual father you are a great and Godly man and light in our world!! May our Lord be with you always Amen.

  18. Augustine mkpuma Ogboji says:

    I love the teaching ministry of Billy Graham.

  19. pastor Anthony Christian says:

    Dear Billy Graham,

    though you are not with us by flesh with your teaching and words you are alive with us. thank you for this great teaching, you are true God’s general. i love this teaching. May God bless your ministry.

  20. Menda. Koteswararao says:

    Very nice message

  21. JAMES JAMES says:

    It is nice to read Billy Graham messages. I’m blessed through his messages.

  22. Samuel Mohanty says:

    God has given me a chance to serve him, work for him. I love the word of God. I love to pray for others even for my enemies. This is the principle the word of God teaches me and I have to obey him because he gave his life for all. He loved his enemies. So pray for me and for my ministry.

  23. puhothal pucho says:

    I want a complete sermon on palm sunday and easter sunday because Pastor your material is so helpful for my preparation
    please

  24. Mohan S. says:

    Please send me ministry updates and sermons.

    1. bglibrary says:

      Hi Mohan,
      We encourage you to sign up for our emails by visiting http://www.billygraham.org and scrolling to the bottom to fill out your information. Thank you!

  25. Samuel John Ch says:

    I want to know more about God

    1. bglibrary says:

      Hi Samuel,
      We encourage you to visit http://www.billygraham.org to look around for something that would be a good fit for you. We have daily devotions, Billy Graham quotes, and more.

  26. Ritu Santram says:

    Lovely message.

  27. loyd griffus says:

    No one ever touched the hearts of mankind except Jesus Christ like Billy Graham. Never complicated or confusing – just simply the Gospel of Jesus Christ we all could understand, accept, believe, and confess.

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