Palm Sunday | Scripture - Luke 19:38

 

In many ways, Palm Sunday is a festive day in the Christian church.

Children will often march through worship services waving palm branches as the congregations sings, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

There’s something wonderfully anticipatory about Palm Sunday because we know that in one week we’ll celebrate Easter or Resurrection Sunday.

This morning as I was reading the biblical account of this event, I noted this verse in Luke 19:38

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!

comes from Psalm 118:26.  So of course, I had to read the whole chapter of Psalm 118 to get the full picture.  One of the things I like to do is pull up Bible Gateway on my laptop and see parallel versions of the Bible.  Sometimes reading the passages in a different version brings new understanding. Today it brought more than understanding to me… my heart was deeply moved.

The first portion of Psalm 118:26 says, Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  These are the words we hear, sing, or speak on Palm Sunday.  The verse continues with: We bless you from the house of the Lord.  That is what the throngs of people outside of Jerusalem were doing as they waved their palm flags and laid out their “red carpet” of coats for Jesus, which we emulate in our worship services.  

This is happy stuff… or so it seems.  

If the people were referencing that particular scripture verse they must have known the verse that came next. Or did they?

The Lord is God, shining upon us.
    Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
Psalm 118:27

Do you see it, too?

Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.

As I read those words, I realized immediately that if the people were calling for Jesus to be their king… they missed verse 27.   Somehow they did not calculate the price that would be paid for their freedom.  It’s pretty evident they thought that Jesus would free them from tyrannical Roman rule, as a flesh and blood king.

For years I have rejoiced on Psalm Sunday, enjoyed my fair share of palm waving with the kids, and singing my Hosannas.  Is our Lord not deserving of that?  Yes!!  In fact Jesus himself said that if we didn’t sing his praises, even the rocks would cheer (Luke 19:40).

This year, my Hosannas will be different.  There will be plenty of singing praises, but in my heart there will be songs of thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving for the undeserved freedom that came at such great cost.  Gratitude to Jesus who knew he would be bound by cords on the cross.  The ultimate altar of sacrifice.

 

Palms | The Day Jesus Lays It All Down

 

Palm Sunday is the day when Jesus lays it all down for us.

This is the day his humanity and his God-head meet and he steps forward onto that “red carpet” knowing full well the price he’s going to pay so we can experience what he has experienced with the Father.   Knowing that his blood will pay the price for our sinful lives so, we too, can have fellowship with the Father.

Palm Sunday is the approach to the altar of sacrifice.

In the Old Testament, Abraham in obedience brought his son Issac to the altar as a sacrifice.  God was pleased with his complete obedience and provided a lamb in Issac’s place.  On Palm Sunday we are marching towards the altar with a lamb, the ultimate perfect lamb.  Jesus.  There is no replacement lamb this time.  Jesus is the perfect lamb of God.  He is the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.

Usually we think of Good Friday as the moment that Jesus lays it all down.  As I contemplate the events of the triumphal procession into Jerusalem, in my mind the sacrifice began the moment Jesus sat on the young donkey he asked his disciples to bring to him.  At that moment, the very thing for which he wore humanity was sealed. It was the antithesis to how things appeared that day.  What looked to the crowd as a triumphal moment of their king riding in to overtake the Romans, instead was the moment of unimaginable humility.

The ultimate display of grace.

The most extraordinary example of selfless love.

 

The Day Jesus Lays it All Down for Us - Psalm Sunday Devotional

 

As we begin this week, referred to as Holy Week, our hearts should be filled with gratitude.  Humble gratitude. Overwhelming gratitude for the love to endure not only the torturing events of the week. But, even more because Jesus Christ would humble himself, even to death, to take on the punishment you and I deserve for our sins.

What does a heart overflowing with gratitude do?

Sing praise.

Let’s attend Psalm Sunday services singing praises to God… rejoicing in Jesus our Savior.  We’re making a processional to the altar with the perfect lamb, Jesus.  The one whom in perfect love takes our place.

Let’s sing our hearts out for being the recipients of this unbelievably extravagant gesture of love and grace.

 

Join us in counting our blessings, it's Joy Day!

 

It’s JoyDay!

The day we take time to look back over the past week and count ‘seven’… our joys and our sorrows… and give thanks.

There’s something wonderful that happens when we practice this counting.  We start to see things in our day differently, we live with more joy and expectation.  And peace.

Please join me in counting ‘seven.’

I’ll start!

Lord, thank you for…

  1. that email that set the ball rolling
  2. the initial interview
  3. hope as bright at the sun
  4. a long conversation with a good friend
  5. faux forsythia like sunshine on the table
  6. knowing all your promises are YES! in Christ Jesus
  7. knowing that you are at work to restore us

Now, it’s YOUR turn!

Scroll down to the “Share your extraordinary thoughts” below and tap in your ‘seven.’  You’ll be glad you did.

 Wishing you... An Extraordinary Day!

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Comments

  1. Oh, yes. I remember doing exactly that as a little girl, walking the church with the palm (or really twigs of boxwood instead of a palm). And on palm Sunday we walked with little sticks with sweet bread chicks and a colored egg in his belly (which we could then eat afterwards. I have so incredibly happy memories to this period in my life.

    Come link up your soulful post with us to our new linky party: it’s now on SHARE IT SUNDAY! I’d love to see you there.

  2. yes, these last couple years my Bible study have ended the weekend to correspond to Palm Sunday and EASTER. I agree. I used to feel elated on Palm Sunday because I loved the Hosannas to My King. But the last few years have really made me realize how the very people who hailed JESUS as King of Kings and were wild in their shouts of Hosannas by Friday had been swayed by the church leaders to then cry out in a riotous cry, Kill Him! From praise to rejection in five days. Wow.
    But part of Gods perfect plan that I do not truly understand even now. But praise God for His wonderful gift of salvation through JESUS.
    Joy week
    1, talks with Mom
    Dinner by a friend
    3. Got to see a best friend
    4. A friend gave me a ride somewhere plus brought lunch
    5. Daughter took Curt to church and to get some store items
    7. People praing for Curt being put twilight under for a procedure as they search for why he had the stroke at 53 and in perfect health. We are both battling cautious and anxious hearts yet giving to the Lord.

    • Gwen, It is interesting how the “crowd” was swayed by the religious leaders who were threatened. Talk about politics and posturing! It’s gone on for centuries.

      Thanks for sharing your ‘seven’ with us Gwen! Really we are so blessed by God’s goodness, love, and care. Hope Curt is seeing more improvements and recovering from the stroke.

      May your heart overflow with JOY this Holy Week!
      [[hugs]]

  3. Anne Astromsky says:

    The homily today was the world turned upside down. The insiders became outsiders. The outsiders became insiders. The Centurian became an outsider when he recognized Jesus as God. Lots to think about as we ponder what turning upside down does to our prospective. This world tuned to the next.

    You are an inspiring writer. Thank you for sharing your faith.

  4. Whoa! I’ve never noticed that second part of the Scripture before either! In their expectations of what the Messiah should be they missed Him completely, even turning their backs on Him overnight and shouting, “Crucify Him,” and “May His blood be on us and our children.” Ultimately it was wasn’t it? Christ’s blood shed for ALL. This does indeed change my thinking this Holy Week and that is good.
    I am thankful for:
    1. The blood of Christ shed for me.
    2. Robes of righteousness that cover me even when I don’t always get it right.
    3. God teaching me AGAIN that I need to let my own expectations go and turn every part of my life over to God. He has my heart but does he have my future, my hopes & dreams, my family, my everything, or am I still holding on . . . just a bit?
    4. Knowing that what God has planned for my future is far better than my plans.
    5. Peace in knowing for certain that He is Sovereign God.
    6. Joy in walking with Him and learning new things daily . . . and an eternity of new truths to learn ahead of me still!
    7. Happiness in hearing that God is working and answering prayers in the life of my friend Diane!
    Thank you for sharing your rich insight today Diane. I think I just came up with the outline for my Freedom Friday post this week without even trying! Haha! God is SO good. Have a blessed Holy Week as you ponder its meaning in a different way.
    Blessings,
    Patti

  5. Wonderful post, Palm Sunday has always had a special place in my heart. My grandfather died very close to Palm sunday when I was young, 5 days before my 6th birthday. I miss him very much.
    My 7 are:
    1) The wonderful homemade bread I made yesterday.
    2) The nap I was able to have yesterday.
    3) My husband.
    4) My returning health.
    5) Stopping the wind and rain long enough for me to walk to work this morning.
    6) My grandmother. Tho she is far away from me, she is still with us
    7) Protecting me on my way to work, there are alot of crazy drivers, he walks with me to work 🙂
    Thank you for letting me list my 7 🙂
    Hugs

  6. Palm Sunday reminds me that our lives are but a vapor. 20 years ago on a Palm Sunday my father went to be with the Lord. I miss him, but know that he is in heaven with our Lord.
    My seven things
    1. My salvation
    2. My wonderful family, who are so very helpful
    3. My church family
    4. My husband, who suffers from dementia and how our lives have changed.
    5. Spring and warmer weather
    6. Music
    7. The wonderful blessings from the Lord.

  7. I’d never thought of it as the beginning of the walk to the sacrificial alter – but I realized it was a walk to a new beginning. I remember reading this story when I was little – and the visual imprint of it left on my heart! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. . . . Hosanna in the highest” – Shalom, friend!
    Maryleigh

  8. I will add your personal note at the bottom of your post to my list of joys — and continue to hold you both in prayer. BTDT!

  9. Thank you, Diane! What a wonderful post. Yours always are! It was a wonderful day of celebration, and I so look forward to this coming weekend. It’ll be just the two of us, so a quiet day for reflection after an early morning Sunday celebration. I’m so thankful for you, Diane! Here are seven more that I thank the Lord for:
    – Healing our hearts
    – His promises and faithfulness
    – Revealing my lack of trust as sin
    – Helping to keep my focus on Him
    – Speaking so clearly to me
    – Assurance of His love for us
    – A Godly husband to guide our family.
    Diane, I pray you have a blessed week! <3

  10. Barb @ A Life in Balance says:

    Thank you for contributing to Motivation Monday!

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  1. […] my friend Diane pointed out in her post The Day Jesus Lays it All Down for Us, the people were familiar with the words they were quoting directly from Psalm 118:26 so they […]

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