Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday. The Sunday before Easter.

It is the day we acknowledge Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem knowing he was going to face his first Easter. We usually give out a palm cross, a tradition for this day, made by one of the ladies at our church but she has moved and no-one has made them this year.

As Jesus was entering the city the Israelites cut branches off palm trees and lay them on the ground for Jesus to ride over. It was a custom to cover in some way, the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honour. People gave Jesus this form of honour. The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory in Jewish tradition. Because of this, the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus by waving palms and carpeting his path with them, has become symbolic and important.

John 12:12-13

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King of Israel!

The symbol of the donkey refers to the tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Therefore, a king came riding upon a horse when he was bent on war and rode upon a donkey when he wanted to point out that he was coming in peace. Therefore Jesus' entry to Jerusalem symbolized his entry as the Prince of Peace, not as a war waging king.

The Triumphal Entry   Matthew 21:1-11

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The word Hosanna from the Aramaic translation means “save, I pray” or “deliver us”. It was used at this time as part of the shout to Jesus, as the Israelites thought Jesus, known as “The King of the Jews” was going to save Israel from the Roman rule. The people didn’t see Jesus as being their saviour from sin but being set free from the oppression they were under.

This morning in church we were reminded that in our own salvation and walk were we looking for a rescue from the hard times – to make things all OK – or Jesus the Saviour of our sins.
We were reminded that becoming a Christian doesn’t make the road easy and all the hard things disappear. For even Jesus had to face death on a cross, the penalty for sin, although He was free of sin. But He did it in obedience to God and for His love for us. He didn’t focus on the immediate things going on around Him but obeyed God, humbled Himself to this mistreatment so He would be raised up. He saw the big picture.
We were encouraged to do just the same, obey, be humble and so be raised up, as we don’t see the big picture as God does.

I am struggling with things going on around me and have prayed that they go away, that God will step in and be triumphant over it all, but I realise it is me trying to drawer the "big Picture" and who am I to think I can do a better job then God.

I know I must let go and let God as only He knows the ways and plans He has for me.

All scripture is from (New International Version)

1 comment :

  1. Hoping you and the growing family have a great Easter. I will be thinking of you all. Maa