This week, we celebrated palm Sunday, the day we recognize Jesus’ Scripture-fulfilling entry into Jerusalem. But this was more than just a ride on a donkey. This was a proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah. 

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,Jesus sent two disciples, 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. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 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!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” {Mathew 21:1-11}

This same week, Jesus and the disciples celebrated the traditional Passover feast. This is when things started to turn.

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, ….. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. {Mathew 26:47-50, 56}

The chief priests and elders wanted to kill Jesus, claiming that he was blasphemous. However, Pilate had been given warnings about killing him. So he asked the crowds in Jerusalem if they wanted to set free Jesus or Barabbas, a “notorious prisoner.” One would be freed, and the other would be crucified.

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. {Mathew 27:21-26}

There are two main reasons I wanted to share this with you today. The first is that it is the time of year where we reflect on Jesus- His life, death, and resurrection. I wanted to remind you of these events that are the basis of Christianity. As we know, this is just the beginning of the story. Without Christ on the cross, there are no Christians. So this week I want to encourage you to really get in tune with Jesus. Spend a lot of time in worship, giving thanks for the grace and salvation you have received through the cross, and repenting.

The second reason is a bit more abstract. Look at the crowd in the passages I included. In a short amount of time, they went from yelling “Hosanna” to “crucify him!” It is evident that most of the people in the crowd did not really know what they were doing; they were simply going along with the crowd.

Let this be a reminder to not get caught up in what the crowd is doing. Worldly people will do worldly things. Never be afraid to be different. Be set apart for the Kingdom.

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