Palm Sunday | April 14, 2019
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 • Luke 19:28-40
28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
Luke 19:28-40 New Living Translation (NLT)
This week begins with celebration, but quickly turns to sorrow. This Sunday is Palm Sunday – the day that Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people were treating him like a king. I am sure that there were those in the crowd who thought this was the long awaited king – the long awaited Messiah that would set them free. They were looking for political freedom – financial freedom. Jesus indeed came to set us free, but political and financial freedom isn’t why he came. He came to set us free from the law of sin and death. He was a different kind of king. He didn’t come on a white horse, which means that he would have been a conquering king. Jesus came on a donkey – a humble king. But as we read about Jesus in Philippians, this was his character. This was the way he did things, from a humble birth in Bethlehem, to a criminals death on a cross. Jesus did these things to show us the way.
The people cried “Hosanna” which means “please, God save us.” Little did they know that’s exactly why Jesus was there. This week, because it is Holy Week, there will be a reading from the gospel every day. I encourage you to follow along as we journey toward the cross.