April 15, 2019 by maryruwe
Palm Sunday was yesterday; some call it Passion Sunday, it’s the beginning of the Holy Week; the beginning of the week before Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord. As Christians, Palm Sunday is the day we remember Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey and the Israelites greeting Him by waving palm leaves, laying them on the ground before Him, and even putting some garments on the ground as well. I remember as a child being taught about Palm Sunday and sometimes even received palm leaves to help us remember what all happened. The Israelites also shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” (John 12:12-15)
The Eastern tradition, then, the laying of garments on the road was a gesture of recognition of the kingship of a person. Often the kings rode a horse into a city, perhaps symbolizing strength and conquering victory of war. But the donkey is more of a symbol of peace, than war. So, Jesus riding on a donkey was making the statement that He was coming as the Prince of Peace. Some look at this manner of His coming as an offering of sacrifice.
As we begin this Holy Week, let us seek God and prepare our heart to draw closer to God as we think about the events that took place in Jesus’ life.
On Thursday Jesus sat down with the twelve disciples to celebrate the Passover, as was the custom of the Israelites. It is here that Jesus instituted the Last Supper, or the Lord’s Supper, which we call Communion. (Luke 22:14-20)
Later in the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed. We are told in Luke 22:42 that He surrendered His will to the Father’s will, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done”; and verse 44 tells us that his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. This took place right before He was arrested.
Judas, Iscariot betrays Jesus to the chief priests. (Matthew 26:14-16)
Peter denies that he even knows Jesus; three times. (Matthew 26:69-75)
Jesus faced accusations by the chief priests; was spat upon; horribly beaten; had a crown of thorns placed on His head, perhaps we should say “stuck in His head” because those thorns were heavy strong thorns. (Matthew 26 and 27)
Then Jesus was nailed to a Cross to suffered the extremely painful death not only from the wounds from the beating but also from suffocation. And when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, He took the sin of the world upon Himself and suffered separation from the Father, dying spiritual, first, before His body could die. Jesus had never sinned so there was no death in His body. We must understand that God created mankind to live forever and until Adam disobeyed there was no sin in him either.
At this moment in time, things look very dark for Jesus (and mankind). But we learn from Romans 5:12-18 that it was by one man’s disobedience (Adam) that brought sin, judgement, condemnation, and death into the world; and by one man’s obedience (Jesus) came justification of life, grace, and righteous. Thank you, Jesus, for your obedience! And He did it all for you and me; to purchase back our right standing with the Father. Thank You, Jesus, for being the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Next week we celebrate Easter, or as some call it, Resurrection Day. That’s the day we remember God raising Jesus from the dead. It’s the day the plan of Salvation was completed and implemented so mankind can have fellowship (again) with the Father.
Enjoy this Holy Week by thanking God for sending Jesus; and thanking Jesus for being obedient, even unto death.