“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna b to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” c “Hosanna d in the highest heaven!” 10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21.6-11
Watchful: to be alert, vigilant, awake. To anticipate the arrival of someone or something.
Do you think the Jews in Jerusalem expected the Messiah to show up in the town that day? It was the beginning of the Feast of the Passover and Jesus, along with thousands of other people, would be traipsing into the city on that day. Jews from all over the Ancient Near East would be returning to the Temple to remember the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt so many years ago.
And in all the hubbub, there came a special guest – THE special guest. He had drawn a very large crowd and out of the influencers who came into the city that day, he stood out. People asked, “so who is this guy?” And the crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was unlike any other. He came supporting a prophecy of the Scriptures from the Prophet of Zechariah who said in 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” And this is just what Jesus did.
There were some who knew who Jesus was — God’s promised Messiah to save Israel from their sins. There were others who were merely intrigued by the great parade of flapping coats, waving palm branches and shoutings of “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” And still, there were some who rejected Jesus all together.
Today on Palm Sunday, I encourage us to be watchful. To wait and watch for the coming Messiah. To be alert, vigilant, attentive and ready. Do not waiver to the right or to the left. Do not missing his coming. Join in the crowds who shout his name. Be watchful and receive the Messiah — Jesus, the Christ, who will save the people from their sins.
“O Lord, today, is a special day. It’s the beginning of the end, your march to the cross. But it’s also a new beginning of your resurrection, ascension and salvation. Come now, Holy Lord, bless me I pray! Help me to be attentive to your arrival this week. To be watchful, waiting and ready. Help me seek your name and offer you praise. Come Holy Spirit and fill me with your love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen