“They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” Matthew 21:7-9
A stone-walled road from the Mt. of Olives, a date palm in Israel, a donkey.
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday. For most Christians it is the beginning of holy week leading up to Easter Sunday. One of the holiest days in Christian churches all over of the world. Come with me as we try to see and hear the commotion as Jesus and His disciples enter Jerusalem.
Hundreds of people crowd the Jerusalem streets and markets. The temple is overflowing. All are coming into the city to celebrate the Passover. There is talk all around the city of a new prophet named Jesus. “I was in Capernaum when Jesus healed a man who couldn’t walk! He had to be carried in, and then Jesus told him his sins were forgiven and to get up, and he did, he just walked away healed!!” Some voices are raised in argument and disbelief, but others nod and praise God for the works that Jesus has done. They all have a story or an opinion.
One woman shares her story with the others standing in the court of the women at the temple. She hasn’t been to the Passover celebration for over 12 years. She tells of her issue and her doctors and her prayers and her hope when she heard that the man Jesus was nearby. She ignored everything and ran to Him. “I knew that if I could just touch the hem of his garment, I could be healed. There were so many people, but I finally worked my way close and reached out and touched his cloak. I was healed. Oh, such joy! But when He realized that I had touched Him and He sought me, I fell down at His feet and confessed. Jesus smiled and said my faith had healed me and to go in peace.” The other women told their own stories of Jesus and His miracles as the day grew warm.
Suddenly noise erupts from near the Mt. of Olives as crowds press around and try to see the procession coming down from the crest. Jesus and His disciples are coming to Jerusalem for the Passover. Jesus is riding a young donkey, a colt that is covered with cloaks. His disciples and followers are all around. People are shouting, “Hosanna!” and laying down their cloaks and branches from the date palm trees welcoming Jesus into the city. Praises and blessings and shouts of joy fill the air. The new king is here!
Let’s begin our celebration of Palm Sunday with praises and thanksgiving for all that God, through His Son, Jesus, has done for us. Let’s welcome Jesus with hosannas, gladly into our hearts and our homes. Let’s humbly contemplate that He came willingly to die for our sins, to shed His blood for our salvation. And let’s celebrate the King of Kings, our Lord.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week to experience Palm Sunday.