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Posts Tagged ‘palm sunday’

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival

heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’

John 12:12-13

As this final week of Lent begins before Holy Week, we are approaching what is celebrated as Palm Sunday. Reflect back to that first Palm Sunday. Jesus entered the City of David with a crowd of followers and disciples. Jesus was met by a crowd that had already gathered in the city for Passover. Imagine Jesus on the back of a colt. See the crowd and disciples with him rushing to meet him. Much like sometimes pictured on the news, the crowd pressed in on Jesus just as they surround a car carrying a dignitary or celebrity. Where would you be in that picture?

Would you be among those who throw their cloak on the ground for Jesus’ colt to walk upon? Or, would you be one of the leaders who demanded Jesus rebuke the disciples? (Luke 19:39). Would your voice be one that could be heard crying “Hosanna!” like those lining the streets that day? Would you be so excited anticipating the chance to see the Messiah that, like Zacchaeus you might climb a tree to see Him more clearly?

The celebration was wild and on the verge of getting out of control. The religious leaders were horrified that on the Sabbath the crowds were so unruly. They sacrificed the joy of spontaneity for what they felt was respectable. Nearly 45 years ago, I came in to a dorm from a church service singing, laughing and dancing. The dorm mother (yes, they had those then), confronted me about 2 inches from my face with an accusation; asking if I was drunk. My response shocked her, just as I am sure these religious leaders were shocked by what they observed watching the crowd that day. I stated, “No, I am drunk on the Spirit of Jesus.” She stumbled backwards as though she had seen something offensive. Perhaps that is how the religious leaders felt on that first Palm Sunday.

Jesus didn’t call us to be spectators. In fact, in response to the religious leaders, Jesus stated, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:39-40). Today, enter into worship for Your Lord Jesus Christ. Fast being a spectator. Celebrate Jesus with the abandon of joy often seen in children. Acknowledge the emotions that rise up in you when you imagine what you would have seen on that first Palm Sunday and step out of the spectator seats to celebrate and honor Jesus with your voice and life today.

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Today is often referred to as Palm Sunday, the day commemorating Jesus’ entrance in to Jerusalem in the week He was to be crucified.  Hordes of people lined the pathway and celebrated their idea of who Jesus was…they laid out palm tree branches and their own coats for his colt to walk over thinking they finally had it made now that Jesus was there to make all their dreams come true.

I have always been amazed that Jesus so calmly entered the city in the midst of this chaotic craziness and accepted the praise and adulation from the crowds who He knew would shortly crucify Him. Considering He was God and the great power He had at His disposal, and had already displayed through countless awe inspiring miracles, what amazing mercy He exercised that He wouldn’t strike them all down for being fickle at best, or for being manipulative, murderous, double crossing, self focused hypocrites at worst.

In light of this train of thought, please read the following:

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of our God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs of eternal life.” Titus 3: 3:3-7

I love how the gentle tone of this Scripture passage touches to the core of who Jesus really is…kindness, love, savior, merciful! And all that in response to and in spite of the core of who we as sinful humanity tend to be…foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved, malicious, envious, hated and haters.

Wow! The mercy displayed by Christ to those in Jerusalem who escorted Him to the cross, also extends to us…extends to ME even though He know me and my sinful ways!  His mercy paves the way for me to reject my natural tendencies and be more like Him today and every day…kind, loving, merciful, etc.

Praise God for the mercy of Jesus Christ! That is worthy of celebration!

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