The day dawned bright just as many other days do in Spring. There was a festive spirit in the air. A crowd had gathered pressing in on either side of the road. A few shouts of “Hosanna” rang out from the bystanders. The people standing closer to the city waited expectantly but could not yet see anything. A glance down the road showed a swirl of dust. Something or someone was coming!
In my mind’s eye, I imagine the scene on Palm Sunday looked similar to a parade. During a parade, people line up to catch each float, band or important person. Anticipation of what lies ahead and excitement over the final entry-the main event fills the air. Music floats in and out mingled with shouts of recognition for familiar celebrities or even family members in the parade as the people shuffle back and forth from foot to foot
But on that day, two thousand years ago, the parade consisted of one person. Even though a festive air permeated through the crowd up and down the road leading to Jerusalem, the people did not know what to expect. Most parades entertain the young ones by throwing candy. On this day, a few people began gathering branches, laying them on the road to honor the mystery guest. A whisper ran through the crowd. “Who is this person? Why are we gathered here to celebrate him”? As the man on the donkey appeared through the dust, a chant of Hosanna began quietly and gradually grew in intensity.
The questions still lingered but word of who, what and where ran through until it reached each person waiting along the road.
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 heaven!”
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.” Matthew 21:8-11
[Tweet “One week He rides in as a king and the next week He is crucified as a common criminal.”]
This story of Jesus riding a donkey and being treated as royalty never fails to touch me deeply. One week He rides in as a king and the next week He is crucified as a common criminal. The visual of rising and falling so quickly mirrors how our lives change just as dramatically.
Jesus teaches us how to live well in a few short verses. Let’s see if you find some of the same lessons as me.
Live your life in humility and obedience.
Do not waste the time you are given but live in love for others daily.
Take the gifts God blessed you with and use them fully.
Celebrate who you are and whose you are knowing that God leads you down the road in a swirl of dust to grow closer to Him.
What other lessons do you find in this story of Jesus a week before His death? Please share them in the comments below.
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I love your insight into Palm Sunday, Mary. This grabs my attention – “Celebrate who you are and whose you are…” Especially the whose we are. And how whatever road He leads us down will bring us closer to Him. And that photo and its significance really touch my heart. Thank you. Blessings and hugs!
Thank you Trudy! I need to hold tight to my identity as a child of God. He has chosen me and from this I can do all He wants me to do. I pray this week is a walk toward God and His love and grace.
These are such beautiful thoughts shared with an amazing photo. It makes me long for the day when Jesus will return!
God wants to share himself through words, pictures, the beauty in our world and every other way we can imagine. I’m so glad that He showed up here in this blog post. I always love having you here Bettie!
Hi Mary! I like your take on not wasting time. It really is all we have, isn’t it?
I think I take away how easily the Apostles fell away a week later too. They were no doubt having a great time at the parade, seeing Jesus be so honored. But…a week later it all changes. Yes. Let’s not waste time by passing right by things that God gives us now.
Have a blessed Holy Week Mary.
The lesson of presence in whatever form is one that we can grow so much from. Being aware of what is happening in each moment rather than filling our time to the full will lead us closer to knowing God. I appreciate your insight and love your encouragement. Thank you for blessing me.
Maybe it’s because we’re having our family gathering today instead of on Easter Sunday, but for me, Palm Sunday this year has held special significance. I keep thinking about the “triumphal” entry, and how Jesus looked so much like a winner that day, and He looked so much like a loser a few days later. But if He had clung to the Winner image, we would have been losers, and my whole value system is backwards when I compare it to Jesus’s life and His death and His teaching.
Blessed Palm Sunday to you, my friend. So glad you chose to meditate on this event today!
I hope your celebration with your family was wonderful. I love that you shared what Palm Sunday looks like to you. The image of winners and losers is powerful but I agree that our value systems would be topsy turvy if we think of Jesus as the only winner. I pray Holy Week leads you to the cross of redemption and you are filled with God’s grace.
I love the hope you find in this scene, Mary. The lessons for me this Lent/Easter season have been how easily it is for my heart to wander, to deny Him in small ways, maybe, but deny Him nonetheless. But He never leaves us in darkness, when we seek Him we always find the Light. So hope prevails! Grace is given and received. Hosanna in the highest! Blessings on your Sabbath, my friend!
Hope is what gets me through. There are moments that I mess up and knowing there is forgiveness and on the other side the hope of God, I somehow am able to move forward. Thank you for sharing openly what you are learning this Lent. I pray this week leads you to redemption in your own life where it is needed and God’s endless grace.
A beautiful message for Palm Sunday! Good thoughts to ponder on.
Thank you Jennie! I pray your Sunday was filled with blessings.
This is so fitting for Palm Sunday friend. Love your description. THIS jumped out at me: “One week He rides in as a king and the next week He is crucified as a common criminal. ” Reflecting on those words tonight.
Palm Sunday has always been one that causes me to stop and reflect on what is coming. The symbolism and story that takes place on Palm Sunday is needed to provide the context for the rest of the week. Thank you for joining in the conversation.