“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.” Psalm 118.26
“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
It’s Palm Sunday. It seems to come so quickly each year, Christmas flies by then Easter. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and marks the beginning of the end of Lent, the forty days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. When Jesus makes his journey to the cross, his passion and his resurrection.
Jesus entered Jerusalem in the Triumphant Entry on a donkey. I have donkeys, they aren’t majestic. They aren’t regal or royal. They are kind of common, cute and goofy. What king enters the city upon a “cute” beast of burden? It would show weakness, or maybe humility. An Arabian horse would have been better. Prancing proudly into the city streets, delivering the Chosen One into the Temple of God.
But its a donkey which he rides through crowds of fickle and shouting fans, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven.” Psalm 118.26 echos this call as well (see above.) The people call out, Jesus rides like prophet into the city, making the claim that he is Messiah and is indeed the Son of David.
But the week, doesn’t end like it begins. The trials and tribulations Jesus faces during Holy Week and the Jewish Passover would be impossible for us. He who had no sin, becomes sin for us. He endures pain and grief, humiliation and defeat. But ultimately the victory of the resurrection on the cross is complete.
But for today, Jesus rides a donkey through the crowds, over the coat-lined-streets, and into our hearts. He isn’t cute, he’s courageous— and doesn’t our world need that kind of leader? Don’t we need someone who can satisfy us with his love?
Jesus is ready and willing to receive everyone who calls upon his name for salvation, grace and forgiveness. Share this good news with everyone around you. Embrace the Messiah who embraced the cross for your sake, and for mine.
“O Lord God, I celebrate you today. I wave a palm branch and shout your praises for who you are. I need you in my life, to restore me to righteousness, to redeem my brokenness. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me love you and those around me well that I might tell the world about a courageous Messiah, who rode a donkey, into Jerusalem to save the world from their sins. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen