The King Arrives
Palm Sunday - April 10th
Devotionals for Passion Week 2022
Scripture to Read Today: Luke 19:28-40
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Today we begin daily devotionals around the final days of the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth. Each devotional this week will include a text of Scripture to read (simply click on the link at the top of this page to read Luke 19:28-40 for today's devotional) and some thoughts I have written to help us in our walk with Christ based on the Scripture for the day.
We will focus on the passages that record what our Savior did each day of the final week leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. Feel free to share these devotionals with others via social media or email. God may use them to bless others, too!
The King Arrives
Jesus and His disciples entered Jerusalem on Sunday of the last week of His earthly ministry. He entered into what we call "Passion Week" or "Holy Week" with this triumphal arrival in Jerusalem. Much would transpire between that particular Sunday and the one a week later.
As Jesus descended from the Mount of Olives into the valley between the mount and the city of Jerusalem, crowds welcomed Him. Over the prior three years, the crowds had heard His messages and witnessed His healing ministry. He represented liberation and freedom from Rome and release from the grip of their hypocritical religious leaders. Who better to throw off the shackles of their Roman oppressors and bring integrity to their faith leaders? Who better to be their King?
Crowds of people lined the roadway. Men, women, and children sang praises to God and shouted, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Luke 19:38). The King for whom they had longed for centuries arrived just as the prophets had foretold. He came on a donkey. People waved palm branches and laid the palms and their cloaks in the roadway before Him. All done in fulfillment of prophecy regarding the arrival of Israel's Messiah and King. On that Sunday, the crowds of Jewish people whole-heartedly embraced Jesus as the King of the Jews.
Days later, they completely turned against Jesus. They disavowed Him as their King. While he met all the prophetic expectations, he did not meet theirs. As the week continued beyond that triumphal Sunday, they rejected His message. And by Thursday, they ultimately rejected Him.
It's very easy to be critical of the Jews who first hailed Jesus and then rejected Him. We tend to do the same thing they did. We are looking for Jesus to be who we want Him to be rather than embrace Jesus for Who He is. When what we want Him to be doesn't align with Who He is, we get incredibly self-centered. We may not abandon Jesus, but we make our lives more miserable in our frustration than we should.
Foisting our expectations on Christ doesn't change who He is, but it does impact how we cope with life. We presume that we know what we need and what is best for us. We actually believe we know better than God does. Our frustration produces a lack of peace, a sense of hopelessness, and a heavy heart as we process our everyday lives. When we embrace Jesus for Who He is, we initiate an opportunity for deep peace, uplifting hope, and a content heart - even when life overwhelms us.
Are you like the Jews during the original passion week? Do you tend to be comfortable when Jesus fulfills your expectations and frustrated when He doesn't? We only realize true peace, hope, and contentment in our lives as we embrace Jesus for Who He is rather than Who we want Him to be.
As we celebrate Palm Sunday, let's celebrate and embrace Christ for Who He is - the King of Kings!