Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-11 NKJV “Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?” And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.”

It is amazing to think of how things can change in the span of a week. At the beginning of the week the people were shouting Hosanna, which means save us. But by the end of the week, they were following corrupt religious leaders, and shouting for Jesus to be crucified.

At this time every year Christians stop and reflect on what all that week means for us. We reflect every year because if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we would be eternally lost. We reflect because we realize how unworthy we are of the atonement Jesus made on our behalf. Furthermore, we reflect because, like the crowd, we are shouting God’s praise one minute, then condemning Him for inaction in the next.

Jesus knew what He was riding into, he understood that the hopes of His people were misplaced. They were looking for a political savior, yet Jesus came to save their souls. Many of our Bibles refer to this the triumphal entry, yet by the end of the week it looked like anything but triumph. God’s triumph looks a tad bit different from ours. Jesus would later say during His trial that His Kingdom is not of this world. It wasn’t then, and it still isn’t today.

We like the Jews of Jesus day tend to look at Jesus as the savior of our nation and neglect the individual call of the gospel. We tend to think of God’s wrath on our enemies but definitely not on us. The Jews saw the triumphal entry one way but God saw it in a completely different light. They wanted to be saved from Roman occupation, but God wanted to save them and their oppressors.

As we reflect  this week, look to Sunday as a great day of celebration, let us acknowledge we are not that different from the Jews that shouted Hosanna one day, only to shout crucify Him a few days later. That is the beauty of the gospel message, Jesus died for people who can turn so quickly. Think of the devastating denials of Peter, how heart-wrenching that must have been for him. But who stood up and preached on the day of Pentecost? Peter. That is the amazing grace of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Think about that grace in a deep way this week.

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