Apr 9, 2017

Devotion for 9 April - Palm Sunday

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin.

Gospel Reading- John 12:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey's colt!”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Devotion: Two-Thousand-Year-Old News
You can imagine all the noise and clamor as this commotion-creating Rabbi came into town. It was very crowded with lots of visitors. In the sermon today, Pastor David mentioned that there were three likely reasons for the crowds gathered to see Jesus whose “war horse” for the triumphal entrance was a donkey colt. The reasons were: 1-expectation for new healings, 2- political turnover, and 3-expecting a Messiah. There was little to no science around health care at the time and there had recently been more than two dozen reports of people’s maladies being completely healed by Jesus. This would attract a good number of people. King Herod, the current ruler of the Jews was not popular with the citizenry. He tended to side with the Romans instead of the Jews on many policies because his father [whom he succeeded] was appointed by the Roman senate. Folks did not understand at the time that Jesus’ Kingdom was heavenly and not intended to replace an earthly ruler. Historians offer up that the use of palm fronds was a signal to signify that the Messiah has arrived. The word “Hosanna” is a transliteration of a Hebrew phrase that means “give us salvation now”. Jews of Jesus’ day regarded “he who comes in the name of the Lord” as referring to the Messiah. So, those that were there to see the Messiah got their wish and some did recognize their Messiah--but they simply did not understand what kind of Messiah/Kingdom they were getting. There must have been some frustration and confusion about the this. Verse 16 explains that finally the disciples did get the message after the events of the Cross and Resurrection. This 2000-year-old message still offers us all hope today: Jesus died for our Salvation and provides a place for each of us who have faith, in His Heavenly Kingdom.

We pray: “Thank You, risen Lord, for Your sacrifice. Amen”