Palm Sunday

Our scripture this morning is ‭‭John‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬-‭16.

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

John’s gospel records Jesus entering Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd, fulfilling the prophecy spoken in Zechariah 9:9. It was the week before the Passover celebration and many visitors had come from far away. The Messiah came not as a human king with troops and weapons surrounding Him, but accompanied by children and families.

Those closest to Him were likely taken aback by this outpouring, concerned over the very real threats on His life from the religious leaders and His own pronouncements of His impending death. Perhaps they thought the tables had turned and this might be the triumph for which they had hoped. Only later “did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him”.

The tables did turn, exactly the way Jesus had said, and a week that began so well ended with Jesus buried in a borrowed tomb and His frightened followers in hiding. Our savior knew full well what was in store for Him, but He went willingly in our place to die for our sins. As we mark the days of Holy Week leading up to the Crucifixion, may we keep the lessons and the hope He gave us alive in our hearts.

Gracious God, while we were lost to evil, You sent Your only Son to save us. Bless us to share in His sacrifice, that we may die to sin and rise to new life in Him. Amen.

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