Palm Sunday: Believe & Trust
“…what I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned that I will do.” Isaiah 46:11
Today is the beginning of Holy Week. This is my favorite time of the year. What’s not to love? It’s the beginning of beautiful spring weather, new dresses, and the best part: it marks the beginning of the celebration of Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy; His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.
Oh, my precious Jesus. I am so thankful that you died on the cross for my sins so that You could not only dwell with me, but You could dwell within me. While I don’t understand the intricacies of how this is possible, I stand amazed that You would even want to be in my presence.
Last year Maundy Thursday was new to me. This year, I’ve felt compelled to dig into the days that led up to it. So, I started studying the significance of Palm Sunday.
Our focus as a church is usually Easter Sunday, Good Friday and, for some, Maundy Thursday. I’m curious as to what led up to those days. What did Christ experience when he began to journey toward Jerusalem? Being fully God, He was very much aware of the agonizing death that lay before Him, but because He was fully man, He would experience stress, fear, anxiety, and pain. How did He reconciled the conflicting emotions?
I wonder if, in His humanness, He thought, “How did I get here? What am I doing?” I’ve had those very feelings when going into a dangerous or perceivedly dreadful situation. I have looked up to the Heavens and said, “LORD, how in the world did I get here?” But nothing that I have experienced could help me imagine what those last five days of Jesus’ human life were like.
Imagine yourself as Christ on that journey to Jerusalem. Imagine knowing your whole life that you would have to sacrifice yourself. Imagine, as the years go by, knowing that you were getting closer and closer to that end (or beginning). Maybe, because He knew what lay ahead, He looked forward to being home again and spending time with His Dad. Reunited at last! Maybe, because He was fully man, He dreaded the pain, the suffering, the mocking, the humiliation, the loneliness, and the guilt of having all the weight of the sins of the world on His shoulders. He knew exactly what lay before Him but yet, he loved me (and you) so much that to spend eternity with us, He would choose to endure it. He thought I was worth it. He thinks you are worth it.
Can you see it? Can you picture it in your mind’s eye?
Read Mark 11:1-11
Why did Jesus instruct the two disciples to go into the town and get the donkey? Jesus could’ve done it Himself, right? When you look at the passage, as usual, God is the God of details and tells them specifically what is going to happen. He told them to go into the town and predicted 1) they would find a colt tied just inside the city gate (v.2) and 2) the townspeople would question what they were doing (v.3). He even told them exactly what to say when they were questioned.
We find out a few verses later that it happened exactly the way Jesus said it would. I have to wonder if perhaps that is why it’s included. I’m sure there are other reasons that I haven’t discovered yet, but maybe Jesus told them to do this in order to, once again, provide the disciples with evidence that what He says about the future is going to happen. Nothing can thwart it. Nothing! He knew that a few hours later he would tell them about what was going to happen to Him on the cross and the days that followed. He knew they would need this experience as reassurance when he was gone that He really did know what He was talking about. They could believe His words to be true because He had proved it in the past.
How patient God is with us when we don’t understand the first, second or third time He tells us something, and how slow we are to believe when He does reveal something. Believe Him and trust Him when He says, “…what I have said that I will bring about; what I have planned that I will do.” Isaiah 46:11.