Written by: Dr. Charlie Self
From the 2nd Century AD to this moment, Christians of all nations and traditions have understood the Passion of Christ as the central narrative of the Gospel. From the triumph and tears of Palm Sunday to Jesus’ victory over death, hell, and the grave on Easter Sunday, Holy Week has been a part of the church’s devotional reflection and evangelistic mission. Each day we will follow our Lord as he walks in obedience. With the Help of the Holy Spirit, we can find new intimacy with the Lord, hope for our circumstances, and wisdom for navigating life’s challenges. Each daily reflection will begin with the key passages from the Bible. This is followed by the main ideas in the passages. Finally, we will consider the applications arising from the Word. Welcome to a special week!
Key Scriptures: Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-19; Luke 19:28-47; John 12:12-19
This first day of Holy Week or the Passion is a moment of celebration as Jesus fulfills prophecy and receives worship. In these moments of celebration, Jesus surprises all around with his humility – riding on a young donkey – and his authority – commending the worship and cleansing the Temple.
This moment of public exuberance will not last, as many in the crowd will be indifferent or hostile to our Lord just days later. Even as Jesus approaches the Holy City, he weeps over the refusal of most of God’s ancient people to understand the special moment of God’s kingdom in the person and work of Jesus. God’s Anointed One – the Messiah (the Christ) is here! God’s blessings of love and justice, joy and forgiveness, deliverance and healing are here…but without the military and political power. The first coming of Jesus focuses on liberation from sin and eternal death. The second coming will bring complete restoration (See Hebrews 9:23-28).
It is important that we have our expectations informed by God’s word and not our feelings or the daily news. We know God is faithful and we know that the Lord is working in all circumstances (romans 8:28-39). We must expect the Lord to do great things and endure suffering at times. The crowds in Jerusalem wanted the victory without the sacrifice.
Will we welcome King Jesus on his terms of holiness and humility? Will we clear the way for all to come to faith in the Lord, making room in our hearts and homes for new friends and members of God’s forever family? Let’s take a moment and praise the Lord for his goodness and power, love and mercy, and the promises on which we can place our lives. He is faithful!