Sunday March 20th, (Palm Sunday) 2016
Praying for Mercy
Father… Thank you for the amazing gift of Your Only Son, Jesus Christ. You sent Him to us without blemish or flaw, the complete definition of beauty and perfection. We shouted His name in the streets, and we cried out Hosanna; we sang His praises, and made Him famous… and then realized we did not truly know Him, or why He came. Lord, forgive us that we did not understand that His mission was not for just a few, but for all. In Your Mercy You included us. Dear Father, reveal Your Son… reveal Your Son that we may know the truth and not the lie. Let us follow our King in Spirit and in truth as faithful followers and not merely as part of the un-knowing crowd! Amen
Everyone and everything has a beginning. What is most curious is how the outcome can oftentimes be so different from how the whole thing started! On what we call Palm Sunday the Jews celebrated the triumphant presentation of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. Matthew’s biography of Jesus describes this event as the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9). For the Jews, this the first day of Passover, was called the “day of presentation” as each family presented the lamb they had chosen for the Feast of the Passover (a lamb without blemish or flaw). The population of the city had increased from 50,000 to 150,000 people at Passover time. Huge caravans of faithful Jews and extended families had come, despite the high tolls (paid to Rome) on the main access roads and city entrances. As Jesus the Lamb of God, (without blemish or flaw) rides into the city, His reputation precedes Him, and the news of His healing the sick, compassion for the poor, and the claims of being the “Son of God” had spread rapidly throughout the entire region. Like a storm the stories of His commanding and charismatic teaching, His calm and discerning wisdom, and His gentle and deep compassion, swept the highly populated shores of the Sea of Galilee. But it was in the temple courts where all Jesus had said and done had been critically and cynically documented by those who felt most threatened by Him… the Pharisees and Sadducees. By mid-morning the frenzied streets were filled with shouts and praises for the arrival of Jesus from those who gathered. They actually began to cry out the words “Hosanna” (Hebrew – meaning; save us now), and “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” As they shouted, they laid down their cloaks and waved palm branches, symbolizing that an enemy of the Jews had been defeated. Ironically, on the first day of the Passover Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey being proclaimed a Savior and celebrity – before the next Sabbath He would be led out of the city to his death through the same streets - being proclaimed a criminal and imposter. With the public entry of Jesus into the city Passover week would be become something different than it ever had before - nothing would ever again be the same. So this morning we begin our Holy Week journey with believers of all ages, from all times and places, by announcing His triumphant entrance, and proclaiming Him Jesus the Messiah – The Christ! “King of kings and Lord of lords… Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest!
(Please Read) Luke 19:11-44
Questions to Consider
Can we identify how we have proclaimed Jesus as Savior in our own lives?
Have we also welcomed Him, only to push Him away through what what we think, say, and do?
Can we also identify the practical ways we are actively seeking to know who Jesus really is?
In the context of Jesus and the Passover, what does the term“a lamb without defect or blemish” mean according to (1 Peter 1:19)?
A Word of Wisdom
“Move forward in faith - unafraid. The way will open for you as you go in My name. It is only your fear that can stop My ways and plans for you - have no fear. Know that in Me all is well, and you are safe – stay in Me. In Me, no devices of men, nor outcomes of evil, can harm you in any way. Each step to Me will prove to be a step of progress, as long as your hearts are fixed on me, “trusting in the Lord, I know no change.”