Day One – Sunday
Scripture Passage - Matthew 21:1-11
Parallel Passages in other Gospels for further reading: Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-26
The Triumphal Entry
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 "Say to the daughter of Zion,'Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole
city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?" 11 And the crowds said,
"This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Thoughts from Paul Crouthamel:
About a year ago, I flew into San Diego at about 9:00pm on a Thursday night. A friend picked me up and thought it would be great to grab a bite downtown so we headed that way. Upon our arrival we were blown away by the enormous crowd. There weren’t any parking places, restaurants were jammed, people were celebrating, it was loud, and the place was buzzing. It was crazy.
As I read the above text of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His death on the cross (commonly referred to as Palm Sunday), I thought about Jerusalem being like that scene in San Diego. Jerusalem must have been similar to that, buzzing with activity, crowds, laughter, people eating and enjoying each other’s company, loud with celebration. In fact, it was that way every year as the jewish people celebrated Passover. It was and is imbedded in Jewish culture as the time they celebrate God’s deliverance of their people from slavery in Egypt. People from all over the surrounding areas had made the special trip to Jerusalem to celebrate and into this setting Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He not only had a crowd of followers with Him, many met Him on the way into Jerusalem because they heard He was coming and many heard He had recently raised a man named Lazarus from the dead. “Who is this man?” was the question by onlookers. The week ahead would soon reveal, He was more than just a man.
The more I thought about the scene, the more I thought about the people of the scene. There were true followers of Jesus in the crowd of people, but there were a lot of others. There were those that were in town because of tradition, there were those wondering who this guy Jesus was, and there were those who knew who He was and hated Him.
Some questions to think about:
When this week comes around each year, is it just another week for you? If you were in the crowd that Sunday, what would you have been doing? Laying your coat down on the path in honor of Jesus, praising Him? Standing in the background trying to figure out who this man was? Simply following tradition, celebrating and missing the whole event?
Suggested Direction for Prayer:
God, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for sending Him to rescue me from my sin. Help me to understand in a new and fresh way the week the Passion Week and the amazing love Jesus demonstrated for me through His death, burial, and resurrection. Then, help me not to be an innocent bystander this week, help me live my live in praise and honor to Him, who loved me and gave himself for me.