Our Gospel lesson for Palm Sunday is Mark 11:1-11, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ” They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover in accordance with God’s plan. Everything He has done has been in accordance with what God has asked of Him. All the teaching and healing and His entrance to Jerusalem is according to the Father’s plan as well.
The prophet Zechariah was given these words some 500 years earlier: “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). God had planned for Jesus to enter Jerusalem in this way long ago. It is intended to point out the stark difference between the rule of King Jesus and that of human kings.
Jesus offers us a place in His heavenly kingdom. It us not forced on us by conquest, as earthly rule is often carried out. Jesus invites us to repent and enter His kingdom through His mercy and love. May we hear His gentle call and obey humbly as He has shown us.
Loving Lord, You came as one of us to lead us back to the relationship intended at Creation. Help us to see the blessings in store for us and follow the path You have prepared. Amen.