Passion Week Staff Devotionals: Palm Sunday

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The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
    sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, thenthey remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

John 12:12-19, ESV

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy week, the last week of Jesus’ life. As he entered Jerusalem on a donkey people spread out cloaks and garments on the ground, and waved palm branches, thanking God for the Messiah He sent to save them. Many of the people praising Jesus’ name that day had the wrong idea about the type of Messiah he would be. They wanted Jesus to fulfill their hopes of a national leader who would relieve them from Roman rule and free them from their current, uncomfortable situation.When Jesus did not answer the people’s hopes in the way they desired, a large number of them turned against Him. If only they knew the truth! If only they knew that Jesus had far better eternal plans for anyone who believed in Him.

Have you ever been in a situation where Jesus didn’t answer a prayer the way you expected him to? Maybe he didn’t relieve you from whatever uncomfortable place you were in. Maybe you’ve continuously prayed for a loved one to know Him without seeing anything change. Whatever the situation, we can have hope that God has a perfect, eternal perspective and we can trust Him even when it’s not what we expect.

In Jeremiah 29:11 we are reminded of this promise from God: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I am so thankful for the plan God had in Jesus and that His plan was much bigger than what many of the people in Jerusalem could have imagined that Palm Sunday.

1. Can you think of a time in your life when God did not answer your prayers the way you expected? Are you able to look back at that time and see God working for your good? If not, you may consider praying about having peace with that situation and trusting that God wants good for you.

2. Can you think of areas in your life where you may turn away from God because you worry he won’t fulfill that need/want?