2018-03-25 - Palm Sunday
Matthew 21:8-11 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
The Rose Bowl Parade, or the Tournament of Roses Parade, in Pasadena, California has annually kicked off the New Year for 129 years. Hundreds of thousands of spectators line the parade route. Hundreds of millions watch on their televisions, enjoying the procession of horses, marching bands and flower-covered floats. Each parade is an annual spectacle, with a theme and a Grand Marshal. But it only lasts for one day. After the parade, everyone goes back to their normal daily lives.
Jesus' entry into Jerusalem started what is now called Holy Week. For three years, Jesus had been performing miracles and teaching his disciples and the masses. On this day, Jesus publicly offered himself as the long-awaited Messiah. He knew that this would provoke the Jewish leaders to take action against him. Jesus' entry on a donkey fulfilled the prophecy of the Old Testament found in Zechariah 9:9 ,which says, "See your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
The people welcomed Jesus' arrival with a show of affection. They spread their cloaks and palm branches on the ground in front of him. They shouted "Hosanna," which means "Save!" or is a term of blessing. The Palm Sunday parade showed the people's praise and adoration of Jesus. What a show of affection! Palm Sunday marked the high point of Jesus' earthly popularity. But, Jesus knew, that, in just a week, many of these same people would turn on him, and would be asking for his crucifixion.
How do we greet Jesus the Messiah? Do we welcome the grand marshal of the Palm Sunday parade into our lives? Do we shout "Hosanna?" Do we ask him to save us from our sins? Or do we look at him, and then go back to our unchanged daily lives? Unlike a normal parade's grand marshal, Jesus' influence doesn't go away in just one day; He is with us every day. Will you welcome the Messiah into your life?
Richard Moser, Jr
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