Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Easter Season.
The Bible tells the story best.
Luke 19: 28-40 TLB
Jesus went on towards Jerusalem, walking along ahead of his disciples.
As they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany,
on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead, with instructions to go to the next village, and as they entered they were to look
for a donkey tied beside the road.
It would be a colt, not yet broken for riding.
"Untie him," Jesus said, "and bring him here. And if anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, 'The Lord needs him.' "
They found the colt as Jesus said, and sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners demanded an explanation.
"What are you doing?" they asked. "Why are you untying our colt?"
And the disciples simply replied, "The Lord needs him!"
So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw some of their clothing
across its back for Jesus to sit on.
Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of him, [and others cut palm branches and spread them out before him.(from Matt. 21:8)] And as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along,
praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done.
"God has given us a King!" they exulted. "Long live the King!" Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!"
But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said,
"Sir, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!"
He replied, "If they keep quiet,
the stones along the road will burst into cheers!"
There are several things that catch my attention from this story:
- When Jesus has something He wants done, He makes sure everything is in place. The colt was there, tied up and the owners were willing to let Him use it. When I am obedient to Christ's instructions, I can be sure that He will do His part in making sure His will is done.
- The crowds recognized Jesus as the One who had been doing miracles in their midst. They acknowledged Him as coming from God. Do I recognize and acknowledge Christ in the midst of my daily life?
- The people honoured Him by spreading out their robes on the ground and by waving palm branches as they would have for royalty. God is present whereever I am at any given moment. Do I honour Him with uninhibited worship?
- The Pharisees wanted Jesus to tell them to cool their enthusiasm but Jesus replied that the stones would cheer if everyone else was silent. Am I willing to speak out - or do I expect nature and other people to tell of God's glory?
- Finally, although it's not part of this passage, it's entirely possible that many of these same people were in the crowd that cried, "Crucify Him!" several days later. Do I let those around me influence my reaction to Christ? Or do I stand up and follow Christ when there is a cost involved?
My prayer is that I will recognize and acknowledge Christ's presence in my life, that I will obey Him and honour Him with unrestrained praise.