Monday, April 3, 2023

Passion Week – Palm Sunday and Holy Monday

 Monday, April 3, 2023 

On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” John 12:12-13

Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” John 12:14-15

Passion Week – Palm Sunday and Holy Monday

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the day Jesus entered Jerusalem, and week before His resurrection. Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week, or Passion Week – the last week of Jesus’ life. 

Jesus entered Jerusalem among a throng of fans, waving palm branches and saying “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” Sadly, this same crowd would be saying “Crucify Him” before the week was over. They had seen the miracles, but now the time had come for them to make a choice. They could choose to make a commitment to Him, or not. One brings life and the other death. They did not want to sacrifice or give up anything, but they wanted Jesus to give them everything. 

As Jesus and His disciples were approaching Jerusalem, He sent two disciples ahead of them to find a donkey and its colt. He told them exactly where to find them, and to bring them both back with them. Jesus mounted the colt, and this was His transportation into Jerusalem for His triumphant entry. Jesus rode the donkey colt to fulfill the prophecy - When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, 'BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'" The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them,  Matthew 21:1-6 

As I was listening to the sermon yesterday, it struck me that a donkey is a beast of burden. There are many important points to make in this regard, one of the most important being that Jesus, the King of Kings and Savior of all mankind, rides in on a donkey. It is not even a big donkey, but a colt. The people were looking for a King/Messiah who was going to deliver them from Roman rule. They were looking for a white horse and fanfare, but this King was coming in on a lowly donkey. A lowly animal that is a beast of burden – literally a burden bearer – an animal of peace, not war. The King of Kings humbled Himself, left heaven and lived as a man, and died on the cross so He could carry our burdens for us. 

The next day was Monday – Holy Monday. This is the day that Jesus cleansed the temple, was praised by local children, and cursed the fig tree. 

On Monday, after spending the night in Bethany, Jesus and the disciples were on their way back to Jerusalem. Jesus was hungry and seeing a fig tree with no fruit on it, He cursed the tree, causing it to wither and never produce fruit again. It seems a little out of character for the Jesus we know, but there is a lesson. 

The fig tree was symbolic of Israel. Jesus was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation because of their outward appearance of “religion” with ceremonies and rituals, but spiritually barren because of their sins. They had leaves like the fig tree, giving the appearance of fruit, but in reality, there was no fruit because they had turned their backs on God. 

The same goes for you and me. Do we look good on the outside – showing up for all the services, events, volunteering, teaching classes? These things are great, but they are not really fruit. Fruit happens when we have a relationship with God. We could do all those things without a relationship, and without bearing fruit – and look great to the world while we do it. Without being rooted in the right place, our leaves will wither and die on the vine. 

Jesus chose to clean out the Temple one last time. His Father, God had sanctified the Temple by dwelling in it, therefore everything in it must be kept holy. The site of the Temple was where God met His people. But things had changed, and people were using the temple for more than worshipping God. When He got there, He found animals and tables were everywhere. The temple leaders had allowed moneychangers and merchants to do their business in the house of the Lord. In righteous indignation, Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables.  The courtyard was in chaos but those who had needs did not hesitate, nor did the children. The blind and lame came when they heard Jesus was in the Temple, and when the children saw Jesus standing there and teaching, they began to shout again, “Hosanna, Hosanna, to the Son of David.” 

To those children, Jesus was the same He was yesterday when He rode into Jerusalem. They did not change their reaction to Him based on circumstances or what they thought Jesus was supposed to be. They had the child like faith to believe that if He deserved their Hosanas yesterday, He deserved them today too. This is the child like faith we need. He is the same God, yesterday, today, and forever, and one day, we will be singing His praises for all of eternity. 


Who’s Your One Prayer Guide Day 30


Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

2 PETER 3:8-9, CSB


Father, thank You for being patient with __________ I know every day You extend his/her life is testimony to Your longsuffering and desire for all people to know and personally experience the hope that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. I also understand You could return at any moment and, when You do, it will be too late for those who have never repented of their sins and trusted You. I pray this reality will create a sense of urgency in my life and cause me to share with boldness. I ask that Your kindness will lead __________to repent of his/her sins and experience life with You now and forever.


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