Reflection on Palm Sunday: March 28, 2021

The Gospel of Mark 11:1-11

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Let us Pray:  Thank you for sending your Son and paving the way for our lives to be able to follow the path of Jesus. This Holy Week, begins the start of the journey towards the cross, the victory of the Resurrection, and the rich truth that Jesus truly is our King of Kings. This we pray in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!  “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…”

Would someone today let you borrow a donkey on your word that you would return it later? They really didn’t have a lot of choice as they were told it is for our Lord.

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, like hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah. Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus was able to save. But Jesus was not the king they expected, but he was the king they needed. Jesus did not come to change the circumstance that the Jewish people faced, but rather he came to cleanse them and forgive their sins. How is this truth still so relevant to us today? In what ways do you spend your time blaming your circumstances or blaming others rather than looking at your own sin? How can we trust a king that calls us to a hard journey? How does remembering Jesus’ hard journey for you, help you to trust God in your own hard journey of life? While Jesus entered as a king, he was not entering as a normal king. What do you think a typical king would ride? He would probably ride a powerful war house. Jesus instead chose to ride on a donkey, hardly the appropriate steed for a conquering king. And yet a donkey portrays meekness and humility. Jesus was not coming to conquer but to offer peace. In this most triumphant moment we can clearly see Jesus’ humility. So as Jesus entered riding on a Donkey the crowds lining the route of the procession were filled with enthusiasm. They were not there just because they loved a good parade. They were there because they wanted to believe. They had hope. Hope, Hope springs eternal in the human breast. Where there’s life, there’s hope.” And they had it. Jesus was the King who had come to change them. And today as we let Him to enter our lives, we realize He is the King who can change us and give us Hope. But hope is apparently a fragile commodity. We know the story. By the end of the week, the crowds will have disappeared and what remained were a few faithful friends gathered on a hill outside Jerusalem called Calvary. What in the world happened? It is like the dry palms from Palm Sunday we make the ashes for Ash Wednesday from as we are reminded of the events of Holy Week, and of how the victory of Jesus over sin was won for us on Good Friday. When the match is put to the dry palms, they flare up quickly, and just as quickly die into ash. For a moment they are light and heat and power, and in the next moment they are changed into lifeless ash. The power and light dim as quickly as did the shouts of the crowds as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the shouts that changed so quickly from “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” to “Crucify him!” The lifeless ashes remind us how much of our own discipleship may amount to the same thing, a flash in the pan, a parade on a spring day, but nothing permanent, and nothing lasting. The ashes remind us that Christ went on ahead of us – and still goes on ahead of us. They summon us to follow him and to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane, to stick with him when he is arrested, and to claim him when we are asked with Peter, “Are you not a follower of that Man Jesus?” How do you answer this?

Let us Pray: In the darker moments, when clouds gather and the heaviness we feel seems overwhelming, remind us of your love, carrying the weight of so much in that cross, embracing the world with arms outstretched that we might know freedom from the chains which now constrain us. This we pray in your name Jesus our Savior. Amen.

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