Holy Week Blog: Palm Sunday
“And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:28-40
Jesus? The son of man, God on earth, teacher, good shepherd, king and savior. He has many names and all of them clearly and accurately describe him. As his people, we strive to know, love and see him more fully. So I pray as we remember the series of events that leads to a pinnacle point, not only in history, but in the fulfillment of scriptures and completion of Jesus’ earthly ministry, that we would humbly present ourselves, eager to be sanctified by His truth and love through His redeeming grace and finished work on the cross.
God. Completely God and completely man, Jesus gives us some awesome insights to God’s redemptive story. From creation, to crucifixion, to his final return, God’s story has been written; down to the very fine details, even that of the location of a donkey. Not only is it a great amazement that Jesus would know the exact location and manner of these things but that God would give us a glimpse of his sovereignty through the prophecy of Zechariah(9:9). We see this over and over again as Jesus is in the right place at the right time, under the right circumstances for God’s redemptive story to unfold perfectly.
Humble. We as humans know all to well the thirst of our flesh and the mental and physical anguish/frustration that comes along with it. Often I feel we overlook that Jesus carried that same flesh with him and in turn we overlook how humble Jesus really was. A king rides into his city with the grandest of chariots covered in the most precious of materials, pulled by the most elegant specimens of beauty and power that he might be seen as incredibly wealthy and powerful. He would go to the center of town to gain approval of the rich and influential, intimidating those of lower class and wealth. All of this done to create an image, an image fueled by the yearnings of his flesh. Now take Jesus. The righteous and holy, the all powerful, creator of heaven and earth, Savior of his people, rides on a borrowed donkey, saddle made up of coats, into the poverty stricken outskirts of Jerusalem. All of this done to create an image, an image fueled by the love of the Father. How much we have to learn about God and his incredible love and the image that we bare!
King. Leadership comes at a high cost. A leader is held accountable for those he leads and those that are being led are trusting that the one leading is acting and discerning for the greater good of them all. Israel has had many kings and leaders. Some honoring God by governing and loving his people the way he taught them to, others seeking to glorify nothing but themselves. So to say the least, Israel is very aware of the repercussions and hardships that accompany selfish leadership. This brings new meaning to their actions. “And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! ” Mark 11:8,9. The people of Israel were proclaiming Jesus as king, singing “he who comes in the name of the Lord! ” They knew Jesus was, and is the true King of Israel (his people).
Savior and Creator. The power in numbers can’t be overlooked when a crowd is barreling towards their goal. Often there is no way of stopping this movement unless you can reach the center of its influence. This is where we find the Pharisees, literally staring at a movement of God moving through the streets. And as they try to regain control, they approach Jesus; demanding that he silence his followers. Jesus responds, telling them that even if his disciples stop and leave, they are still outnumbered by the stones on which they stand. (Paraphrased) This is a very straight forward answer, nothing can stop the love of the Father and his redemption of His people and His creation.
Jesus. What greater demonstration of humble kingship, loving obedience, righteous sovereignty, and saving grace could there ever be? None. God loves us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, leaving the angels wide eye’d with wondrous curiosity of His saving grace. This love, is the gospel of Jesus Christ.