I’m reading the Triumphal Entry passage this morning before worship (which will be at 10:00 am on Facebook Live).
There are a number of interesting things about 2020 Palm Sunday, namely the fact that we can’t meet together during this quarantine. It’s going to be an unusual Holy Week! In some ways, this might heighten the message.
As I read this morning, this struck me from Luke 19:28ff:
- This is the moment in scripture where Jesus asked his disciples to go take a donkey that was tied up in town – from the owner – because he needed it.
- The disciples put their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus the sit on (v.35)
- Then in verse 36, the whole crowd started throwing their cloaks on the road so the donkey carrying Jesus could walk by.
- And they began praising the Lord! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Glory in the highest!
The expectation for the impromptu and spontaneous praise could have come from the modeling of faithfulness of those closest to Jesus, his disciples. I wonder if it had to do with this progression: first, the disciples prepare the way by getting the donkey, in somewhat of a miracle, then secondly the disciples took their own coats off to cover the donkey and provide Jesus a place to ride it. It might be similar to a star having the door of their limo opened by someone close to them, which causes a bunch of people to start snapping photos.
- The pharisees in the crowd became upset about the whole thing and want Jesus to rebuke these people who are responding this way.
- Jesus says, it’s no use – even if I do, they rocks will cry out.
- Then as he approached the city, he wept over Jerusalem.
While all the people were cheering, praising, shouting and waving, Jesus was weeping. Jesus always knows the heart. He know what’s been and what’s to come. He knows the peace they are missing. His heart breaks for the people and though many are praising, Jesus is weeping.
My simple takeaways from this Palm Sunday Scripture:
- Model lifting up the name of the Jesus. Be the first to throw down my cloak and shout praise. Help build up a crowd of people who also praise the Lord.
- Jesus’ heart breaks for those who don’t have peace – and ours needs to break too. We need to do all we can to help people experience the grace and hope found in Christ.