the grace of palm sunday

this morning in church, hearing the teaching pastor talk about the events of palm sunday, it struck me how this story is such a clear expression of god’s grace to us. here’s jesus, riding the colt into jerusalem, with everyone all pumped up about “the prophet” coming. they laid down palm branches and shouted hosanna and all that. the buzz about jesus had reached a fever pitch after word of lazarus being raised from the dead in the nearby town of bethany. clearly, this was the prophet moses had promised would come.

and, of course, the whole time, jesus knew what was coming his way in the next week.

this is where the grace part struck me: jesus accepted their praise.

jesus accepted their praise knowing fully that they would turn on him within days.

i think i’ve always thought of this story in terms of “them” — those people who would so quickly turn on jesus. today, i was struck by how it’s my story also.

jesus shows me the same grace every time i acknowledge him, every time i choose to follow him, every time i give him praise. he knows that, just like those palm-waving peeps that day, i’ll quickly turn away, betray him (and what he stands for), choose my own way, discredit him, praise myself, or ignore him.

and yet he accepts my praise.

mmm, this is grace.

9 thoughts on “the grace of palm sunday”

  1. and even more, he loves “them” (and us) in spite of ourselves. i imagine him tearing up as he watched them, accepting their praise, and overflowing with love for them, even knowing where he would end up.

  2. I really do like that thought of grace, but I was curious…weren’t the people who welcomed Jesus and condemned Jesus two very different crowds?
    Weren’t those who welcomed Him into town those who were truly thirsty for a son of David to free them-hence ‘Hosanna’?
    And weren’t those who selected a murder to go free the jealous religious leaders-who more or less hand picked the crowd to insight such chants and paranoia for Pilot to worry over?
    Just curious as to whether or not, the poor who welcomed Jesus were even welcomed into the courtyard (for a lack of a better term) unless they were in line with the jealous leaders of their day.
    So two different crowds or the same crowd?

  3. Wow, once again I can’t spell. I apologize Marko. You would think a seasoned Youth Director of 11 years would know the difference between an airplane pilot and the Pilate in the N.T.
    It’s already been a long week though-it’s Holy Week and I know you understand.

  4. At least some of them were cheering both (entry and then crucify!) if not most…if nothing else, proven by there being so few followers after the cross (mind boggling thought…1 Cor 15 says Jesus appeared to 500 but before Peter’s sermon on Pentecost there are only about 120 – Acts 1:15).

    The people continually proved they missed the point and were easily swayed. They didn’t want a Savior that would Suffer:
    Triumphal Entry – come King, come and kick out the Romans
    Cross – ha! King – forget the Romans, you can’t even keep from getting arrested

    Even after the Resurrection…380 or more people saw the risen Christ and STILL didn’t believe enough to stick with the church!

    Perhaps they weren’t all part of both groups (Entry and Crucify!) but some or even many were and if not they were fairly represented by the people present.

  5. PBJ:
    While it’s well documented throughout the Bible that God’s people are very easily swayed, fickle, and commitment an issue-even today…I found it interesting as I re-read of His ‘Triumphant Entry'(Matthew 21:1-17 & Luke 19:28-40) and ‘Trial Before Pilate’ (Matthew 27:11-31 & Luke 23:1-25) who asked ‘who is this?’ Could it be a religious leader who was among the crowd.
    Again, I only raised the question because I don’t think the rich, wealthy, and religious leaders came to welcome Jesus-rather, it was the poor and marginalized (those who thirsted for deliverance from oppression).
    I think that some of the rich, wealthy, and those in authority/leadership came eventually to see what was happening, but I don’t think they were among those who layed down their clothing, waved palm branches and gave praise to God. They were more or less the minority in that crowd (in the entry) and the majority at the trial. I mean it was known that they were corrupted (the religious leaders) and would do anything to insight ‘crucify Him’ or crush those in opposition.
    And I agree with you about the issue of commitment. We aren’t very good at this whole commitment thing-disciplines are hard to stick to when it requires sacrifice or admitting you’re in the wrong or have more to work on.
    Thanks for the comment/response…good stuff-dialog rocks!

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