Week 20 | Palm Sunday
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Zechariah 9:9: Lord, you alone are my hope!
Psalm 118: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!.
Matthew 12:21: The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast...
Today is Palm Sunday. It is a holiday that the church has been celebrating if that is the right word to use for over two thousand years. Luke records that Jesus gets on the colt of a donkey and starts towards Jerusalem and that the crowds spread out their garments along the road, Matthew records that as well but adds that the crowds cut down the branches of trees, or palm branches as well and placed them on the road.
Hence the name Palm Sunday.
The crowds began to sing and shout praising God. And the entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar, and many asked who is this? Nothing we have not heard before, right?
What if I told you that this simple story was not so simple, that the whole thing, the whole triumphant entry was something so epic, so huge and orchestrated, yet still so simple that only God could have pulled it off.
It could be the greatest conspiracy in history
So let’s break this down by the three acts of the story.
Act One: Jesus enters on a colt
This was to fulfill the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9
The paradox is that a king, came into the city, on the most unkinglike animal that a person could ride. We know that due to the oppression that the people there felt under the rule of the Roman Empire; they wanted a king to free them from the oppression. They wanted an earthly king, and Jesus came that day to offer himself as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of a Kingdom that most there could not understand.
Act Two: The Crowd was not there to see Him
The day that we call Palm Sunday corresponds with the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Four days before Passover, the High Priest would leave the temple to go and inspect special herds of sheep for the perfect yearling lamb.
Usually, the High Priest said “it is finished” about 3 pm, on Passover, which is Friday, the same day and time Jesus died...and said it is finished. So, the crowd is waiting for the high priest and the Passover lamb, and they see a Rabbi, on a colt followed of course by its mother
The high priest would have entered the city from another gate about the same time and heard the cheering and knew that they were not cheering him.
The priest carrying the Passover lamb is outdone by the Lamb of God, who becomes the Passover lamb
Act Three: the crowd cheered one day, and a few days later they will jeer.
Crowds tend to be fickle; they will turn quickly.
On this day they were praising and cheering Jesus, in a few days later they will be jeering him and yelling crucify him.
We live our life like that. At times we praise God, and at times we deny God.
We cannot blame the crowd; we would probably be right there with them.
Palm Sunday and Passover
Something so simple, yet so huge
Something seemingly so straightforward has so many plot twists and paradoxes.
There is no way that it is happenstance or circumstance
God had a plan, and he surprises everyone like those movies where in the end you say, didn’t see that coming!
This is only Palm Sunday the plot gets thicker and more twisted as the week goes by!
Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility:
Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.