Have you ever been struck by the fact that various things ‘had to happen’ on Palm Sunday?
What do I mean?
- Firstly, I mean that Jesus was in complete control on that day and it went according to his plan for it. This was a deliberate claim to kingship by Jesus.
- Secondly, the first section of the Palm Sunday narrative in Luke 19 (v28-34) records Jesus deliberately acquiring a colt so he can ride into Jerusalem as its long-awaited Messiah. He sends two disciples to the village ahead to bring to him the unridden donkey-colt that he knows is there. If (as you would expect!) people ask them why they’re taking what is not theirs, the answer they are to give is: “The Lord HAS NEED OF IT”. It is required.
- Thirdly, the next section of the narrative (v35-40) tells us about the people praising Jesus as God’s king/Messiah. When the Pharisees object, Jesus says that if people don’t praise him, “the stones will cry out”. If creatures don’t acclaim, then creation will exclaim. The Messiah MUST be welcomed and praised; anything else or less is grotesque and awful. God will have his So exalted, it must happen, it is the Divine plan.
- Fourthly and finally, in the final section of the narrative (v41-44) Jesus weeps that Jerusalem (and most of Israel generally) has not received the Messiah. He is distressed that those who are supposed to be God’s people are not recognising God coming to them in the person of his Son. Israel is blind and unwelcoming to God. This is an awful and evil tragedy. It also NECESSITATES that judgement and disaster will come upon Jerusalem and Israel. The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70A.D. when they conquered Jerusalem. “The city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35) had become the city of the great Rejection and the great Blindness.
God comes to his prodigal world wanting to bring blessing upon blessing in Christ. For those who welcome him, praising his Son, the Messiah, there is grace, love, mercy and peace. But, for those who fully and finally reject the Son, there will only be future judgement, disaster and death.
- Have YOU welcomed God’s Son as your personal Saviour and Lord? If not, I urge you to do it this Easter, by faith and repentance.
- Who are you praying for and inviting to find grace this Easter?