Jesus Humbly Rides Into Jerusalem to Die
These are the readings for Palm Sunday.
God’s Word for This Week
Our Lord is so different from earthly rulers. On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus was coming to finish history’s most crucial battle, yet he did not enter Jerusalem as a mighty warrior. He had no army. Jesus came on a lowly donkey, with twelve average men following him. Crowds greeted him with words from Psalm 118; words that rang to the heavens then, words still lifted to Jesus today: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
FIRST LESSON – Zechariah 9:9-10
Zechariah writes 520 years before Christ. What is he prophesying about in verse 9?
Jesus coming as a lowly king into Jerusalem. We now know this as Palm Sunday.
Look at 9:10. What amazing gift would this King riding on a donkey bring?
Salvation—eternal life—for all people.
How does Zechariah give us a picture of the salvation our King would bring in verse 10?
What a picture: There would be no more instruments of war. In Zechariah’s day, the instruments of war were chariots, warhorses, and bows. Today we would say that there would be no more guns, missiles, tanks, bombers, or fighters. Instead, there would be peace throughout the earth and the King (Jesus) would rule over all. This picture finds its fulfillment in heaven, and on the new earth, where sin and war will rage no more for God’s people.
SECOND LESSON – Philippians 2:1-10
As followers of Jesus, what kind of attitude are we to have?
We are to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus, who humbled himself in service to his Father and others.
Why is it such a surprising thing that Jesus humbled himself all the way to the most cursed death, that of a cross?
If we had been in a position of authority over all things, we wouldn’t want to give it up to serve others, let alone die under God’s curse on the cross. Jesus left the glory of heaven to live in a world filled with sin, violence, and death. What great love for sinners!
Because Jesus was willing to endure so much for us, what glory did God the Father give him?
The Father gave the Son back the full use of the position the Son had always had from eternity: equality with the Father in every way. Now when we worship Jesus as Lord, God the Father receives the glory he deserves. Let us do this now and forever!
GOSPEL – Mark 11:1-10
If Jesus knows details about the colt, etc., ahead of time, what else must he know in advance?
If Jesus knew about the colt, etc., Jesus must have known all that would happen in his betrayal, suffering, and crucifixion. What love for us and for the Father he had!
What does the word hosanna mean?
Hosanna literally meant, “Please, save.” It was a plea for deliverance. Because we generally only call for rescue to people great enough to help, over the centuries hosanna became a shout of exclamation or praise to someone great.