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Palm Sunday: Rejoicing From Our Hearts!

Sing: Hosanna! Praise is rising!

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Matthew 21: 1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

“Hosanna” is a Hebrew word meaning “a plea for salvation”. Set in the context of the words “Son of David” and “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”, we can see two threads coming together. The first thread refers to the need to be saved. The second thread is that this much-needed salvation is found in the Son of David.

The crowds tied the two threads together immediately. However, there is a painful story that will need to unfold before these two threads would be truly intertwined. This will unfold in the rest of the Passion Week. While we are aware of the suffering Jesus was going to face, it is also appropriate that we recognize the significance of each moment without letting the events of next week cloud our joy for this day. Jesus certainly didn’t stop the crowds. So today, we rejoice!

Reflect and pray

As you see Jesus riding on the donkey, what comes to mind?

“Hosanna!” What started as a cry for help in the ordinary language of the Jews is also a shout of praise and jubilation. How does the meaning of the word “Hosanna” resonate with you?

Gracious Lord God, Palm Sunday is a day filled with emotions of hope and expectations, of praise and jubilation as I imagine the cries of the people for a King. Thank You, Lord, for sending Your Son, Jesus. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He comes to reign and rule not in the way we think but in gentleness and humility.

So Lord, at the start of this holy week, bring to mind the service and sacrifice, and the passion and death of Jesus. I want to turn my eyes to look at Your Son who came in human frailty to walk this road of suffering out of love. And as I live each day of this week, please speak to me as the events of this Holy week unfold. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!

Sing Hosanna!

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