Ok, I know this is audacious by my current posting standards, but since we’ve reached Holy Week (or Passion Week, or Easter Week), I’m once again going to try and write a blog each day on this most wonderful, and yet awful of weeks. Wonderful in the sense of what it means for us sinners, awful in the sense of what it meant for the Savior.
So today, the first day of Holy Week, we remember the “Triumphal Entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem. If you haven’t read this account in a while, you can find it in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11,Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19. Each account gives us a bit of a different take on the event. Read them…it won’t take you that long. Here’s what struck me.
In Luke 19:28, we see Jesus leading the way to Jerusalem. The disciples think they’re going to celebrate the Passover like the rest of the Jewish people. Well, they are, but in a way that will totally redefine what the Passover was forever. As the sacrificial lambs for the Passover sacrifices were entering the city, so was THE Sacrificial Lamb of God, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. And Jesus knew it! He KNEW what was going to happen on Thursday and Friday! He KNEW what lay ahead…and yet “he went on ahead.” Jesus was fully aware of what was going to happen to Him this week, and “for the joy set before Him” (see Hebrews 12), He went on ahead. Praise God for that!
In all the accounts, we see the reception of Jesus as the Messiah by the disciples and the people of the city. It seems even His enemies turned out to watch the spectacle of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (as our pastor related today, a sign of peace for a king to be riding on. Here we have the Prince of Peace Himself riding one). And the people are laying their coats on the road, waving palm branches and praising God for it! “Hosanna! Glory to God in the highest! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!!!”
No doubt many of us sang songs filled with such exaltations today in our Palm Sunday services. And today, as I watched our packed church praise God for the Lamb, I couldn’t help but think of how it was exactly the same that day in Jerusalem. And I couldn’t help but wonder: how many of us will deny Him this week…just like that day.
I pray this Passion Week will find you at the foot of the cross, and at the feet of the risen Lord and Savior. I pray that you will pause and think of just what we are celebrating this week, and remember the One it’s really all about. And most of all, if you don’t know Him, I pray that by Sunday, you will!