This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
‘Tell the daughter of Zion, look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’
The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’
How sad that the many of the voices that cried out and praised God as Jesus entered Jerusalem will be amongst the voices that cry out for Him to be crucified. Those who praised God will be proclaiming the God-King, Caesar, as their king!
For many who find themselves troubled by, and separated from, friends and family the scene is familiar. Those who once spoke words of love, praise and encouragement are distant and form part of the crowd who point the finger, mock and wound with their words, actions and lifestyle.
But in today's events there is hope, for Jesus had to come to this place to fulfil the many prophecies made regarding Him. This is the launchpad for Him to become Isaiah's suffering servant and in His rejection we can find healing and reconciliation for our rejection.
People will leave church today with a palm cross as a reminder of this day - I wonder how many know that at the beginning of our Lenten period, on Ash Wednesday, the ash we use comes from burnt palm crosses? The symbolism and practical acts combine to remind us that all our triumphs will turn to ash and all the things we treasure and value are destined to be passed on to someone else (or thrown in the bin). So the message is clear:
Don't struggle to hang on to the things of this world. Don't get so bound up in possessions that they possess you, for they will not only do that but will outlive you too!
Place your values in the right place and where there are broken relationships - seek to restore them.
Where you have offended or wounded people - get out there and say sorry and be reconciled.
Where there is disappointment and despair - look to the indwelling of God and the company of His people to reconcile you to the God of love and His people.
True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen.
Man on a donkey
Crowds call out His name
Clamour to meet His eyes with theirs
To press the flesh and get a blessing
For today Jerusalem has talent
But give him five short days
They'll be denying they were ever here
They'll be standing with the same peopleNoise
Man on a Cross
If you have some time have a listen to this: It is long, but this is how J S Bach had today in his mind:
And if you can't make it to church and would like a Palm Cross - you can find my email address on the St Francis like on this blog - or if local, contact me and I'll sort it for you if possible.