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As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.'" They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Quite an Entrance
Did you see the halftime show at the Super Bowl this year? Singer Katy Perry made quite an entrance. The entire stadium went dark and, after a long dramatic pause, spotlights shown down on the pop singer who arrived riding a two-story mechanical lion. Her arrival set the tone for a dazzling display of lights and glamor that many have come to expect at a stage as big as the Super Bowl. It was quite an entrance.
I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between Katy Perry’s entrance and Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. After three years of ministry when Jesus was finally going to take center stage, he made his arrival on, of all things, a donkey. And make no mistake about it, Jesus was setting the tone. He was coming as a King, but he was coming in humility. He wasn’t coming to take things for himself. He was coming to give his life. He was coming to make the payment for the sin of all people of all time.
The people sensed something big was happening. Some put their coats on the ground; others took palm branches and put them in Jesus’ path. They gave Jesus a king’s welcome.
They began to shout, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!" The words of the people were prophetic. They were shouting, “Lord, save us!” And that is exactly what Jesus had come to do.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the week in which Jesus lowered himself to the depth of humility that brought him to death. Watch as Jesus makes his way to the cross to sacrifice himself to pay for sin. But make sure you keep watching until Easter when you will see his greatest victory.
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming as my humble King to pay for my sin. With the people on Palm Sunday I shout, “Lord save me!” Let me live with confidence, knowing that you are my victorious king. Amen.
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