A Triumphant Entry

Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19

For centuries, the church has memorialized that day, the first day of Holy Week, as Palm Sunday because of the palm branches and cloaks that the people spread out before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. The gospel accounts tell us that a crowd gathered, gushing with excitement, rolling out a sort of red carpet ahead of him. Fresh, green palm branches, and thick, worn clothing formed a tapestry of endearment toward Israel’s long-awaited Messiah.

Luke 19 tells us that as Jesus entered Jerusalem the people began rejoicing and praising God, shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”.  Some Pharisees ask Jesus to rebuke the people for what they’re saying — the whole “Blessed is the King” bit. The Pharisees understand that this just isn’t any phrase. This is the kind of praise reserved for Israel’s Savior. However, what happens next seems to be confusing for such a grand scene of praise.  

Luke 19:41-42  says “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes.”  Jesus wept over the city, even as they shouted His praises.  Why do you think He did that?

It is because He knew their shouting would soon turn to grumbling, and their grumbling would then descend into betrayal. The same voices that shouted praise, would but a few days later be shouting “CRUCIFY HIM!” Sometimes, we are tempted to look down on the crowds.  But we must be careful, for we are not as different as we might believe. How often have you sung God’s praises on a Sunday, and by the week’s end your voice is doing everything BUT praising God? How often does the faith you express in worship, seem like a lie when compared to the life you live outside of it? How often do the meditations of your heart drift from praise, and onto selfish desires or sinful lusts?

I would encourage you to lay down more than just cloaks and palms during worship. Lay down your expectations. Lay down your desires. Lay down your achievements and frustrations. Lay down your joy and your pain. Lay it ALL down before Jesus- the real you, everything you are. In the same way that Job came before God full of pain and anguish- which, if you remember, God called “worship”. For it is only in coming wholly before Jesus that we can be wholly His. It is only then, that we find a peace that transcends all understanding.  It is only then that our cries of “Hosanna!” come from the depths of our grateful hearts, and not our expectations of what we think God should do for us.

-Pastor Joey

1 Comment

Michele - March 29th, 2021 at 12:21pm

So Glad to knowI can Lay down a Whole Lot More than Palm Branches or my Cloak this Easter ❣️🐣❣️ Great, Challenging Words 🙏🏻❣️🙏🏻