Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday has passed, I personally don't feel like I gave it the reverence it deserves or looked hard at the lessons we can learn from it. So here is my attempt to give Palm Sunday some respect.

Luke 19:28-44

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Lesson 1: Who can worship and how?

I love this reading because it appears that everyone knows who Jesus is. I mean they are worshiping him. I also really enjoy that Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for wanting to put a stop to this time of worship. This brings me to wonder how many times we as Christians have tried to put a stop to someone else praising God in a way we don't understand. We sometimes will judge other people because they are praising God in a way we don't like or understand. Instead of saying they should stop praising God maybe we should ask ourselves "what are we doing to praise God?" Jesus said if we don't praise him the rocks will. I guess the way I see it is if I am that concerned about how someone else is praising God I'm not really giving God the attention he deserves.

Also the whole rock's praising him led me to a video. (Okay maybe this video found me.) It is about the stars, and sea creatures praising God as well. Check it out.



Now let us look at John's version of events.
John 12:12-19
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Hosanna![a]
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
    see, your king is coming,
    seated on a donkey’s colt.”[c]
16 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.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

Footnotes:

  1. John 12:13 A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise
  2. John 12:13 Psalm 118:25,26
  3. John 12:15 Zech. 9:9

Lesson 2: Hosanna!

For some reason John's version of events doesn't show Jesus rebuking the Pharisees. Similarly Hosanna is not found in Luke's version. This, plus a few other events gave me interest in the word Hosanna!

How many times have we looked at the word Hosanna and not given it a second thought. Yeah the people were praising Jesus. But my Bible makes a note that Hosanna means save! So in reality they were saying that Jesus was going to save them. They were seeking blessings for someone who was coming in the name of God. They were also seeking blessings for a king. They knew who Jesus was and they knew he was here to save them.

They were putting expectations on Jesus, much like we do ourselves. Only, Jesus one ups us. Everyone expected Jesus to save them from the Romans and other political leaders. How fitting that in a week Jesus would die (at the hands of the Pharisee's and the political leaders) on a cross to save them, and us. In reality he completed Hosanna in a much better way then those shouting and praising him could have ever imagined. He saved us from ourselves, from our flesh and became our friend instead of a dictator.