Day 42

Palm Sunday

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Luke 19:28-44, Psalm 118:25-29, Zechariah 9:9

BY Melanie Rainer

I love the exercise of doing something again. I like to read the same great books, over and over. I like to watch the same TV shows, or watch the same movies, and mine them for new gems. I’ve been re-reading all of Jane Austen’s novels over the past few years, and every book has been a delight. If books are prisms, then each new season of life has me looking through a different side, seeing how old and new insights bounce off of each other like light, making the experience richer and brighter each time I read.

Sometimes, reading Scripture is like that, especially reading beloved passages like the one today from Luke 19. Perhaps this is your first time ever reading the story of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, kicking off the final series of events before His death. Perhaps you’ve read it dozens of times, and as you read it this morning your eyes skimmed over it, connecting only with the keywords you know to expect.

Because Scripture is a means of grace, it reads us as much as we read it. Like a prism, it catches light no matter when we look at it, and illuminates something deeper and richer. Scripture is living and active, which means that if we approach it with prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us, and it will always reveal something to us.

I can imagine the cries of the crowd who cheered for Jesus were staccato: sharp, loud, joyful, full of passion, short. “Blessed is the King!” they yelled, throwing their garments on the ground for His donkey to walk over. Not long after, the crowds would cry something different: “Crucify Him!”

But it seems that Jesus gave a legato response to the crowd: long notes, connected to a deeper understanding of His purpose. His statements reference the Old Testament: “the stones will cry out” from Habakkuk 2; and “For the days will come on you when your enemies will build a barricade around you, surround you, and hem you in on every side” (Luke 19:43), from Isaiah 29, Jeremiah 6, and Ezekiel 4.

Jesus’s statement, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” resounds with wisdom and sadness (Luke 19:42). He was speaking to Jerusalem, the city He loved. He was speaking to the crowds who cheered Him and the Pharisees who challenged Him. He spoke with authority, which would quickly be followed up with anger when He cleansed the temple.

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter are a symphony, full of staccato celebration and legato mourning. We cheer, we cry. We celebrate, we abstain. We experience the fullness of life, death, and hope everlasting. We are Easter people, but we have the whole of the story in our bones. And every time we read it, we feel it more and deeper: the pain, the joy, and the glorious hope.

Post Comments (49)

49 thoughts on "Palm Sunday"

  1. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Amen

  2. Lydia says:

    For Brenda Langdon: on your computer go to http://www.shereadstruth.com and both in the menu on your left upper side and in the right upper corner you can click on ‘shop’

  3. Stephanie Pavlakis says:

    Love the “Symphony of Holy Week”! Such a beautiful way to put it.

  4. Angie says:

    Happy Palm Sunday sisters in Christ! While it is certainly different to worship at home instead of at church, we try our best each Sunday. We watch a YouTube sermon by our pastor and then sing along to worship songs and hymns on YouTube. This morning I also played part of the SRT podcast where Sally Lloyd Jones read The servant King from her Jesus Story Bible. Love how she describes Jesus’ love for us by his choice of gong to the cross! And as we sang songs this morning my oldest daughter requested Beautifully Broken by Plumb (praise be to God for making me while again!), and my youngest daughter requested Raise a Hallelujah by Bethel music, such an awesome reminder to praise God no matter what you are going through, especially in the darkness of this virus! So thankful to God for the ability we have to still connect with technology and worship him even when going to a physical church building is not an option. And for the continued health of my family and friends, the beautiful spring weather we are having, and the peace I can have in him even in uncertain times. My prayers are with you all as we enter Holy Week, that you would feel God close to you this week, his great love and mercy alive in the scriptures we will be reading together!

  5. Jenna says:

    So encouraged by today’s passages and your comments as well. As I read through everyone’s thoughts and reflections, I couldn’t help but think that the Holy Spirit is moving among us! Just as the stones are compelled to cry out, I feel like the Word stirred everyone to worship today. Thankful that we can behold our King together today.

    After reading about God’s just judgment in Jeremiah, it’s really beautiful to see Jesus weep for his people. He is never stingy with mercy and grace (like we so often are). He so longs to see us redeemed and made right with Him. When I think about Christ’s heart toward us in this way and the lengths he goes to save us, it’s so amazing and I know that He’s worthy of my life.

  6. DOROTHY says:

    That hope is something I need right now. I need to remember God has a reason for everything and a purpose for everything. It was hard enough with all this COVID-19 isolating and stuff. Now my niece was taken from our family a few days before her 36th birthday. I look to Heaven and ask why. I know He has a reason for everything and I will find out in His time not my time, (my late father would remind me of that all the after my son’s death) but it’s hard to understand and wait especially since my sister just lost her husband in October a few days before his birthday. So God, I will wait and let You tell why in Your time and meanwhile I will be there for my sister to help her through it.

    1. Jane K says:

      I didn’t read my SRT study yesterday, but read it this morning and my heart aches for you, your sister, and your family. How much pain your sister has had to face. It’s hard not to ask why when death comes too early and multiple times. I will be holding you and your family in prayer. Asking the God of heaven and earth to give you His peace that surpasses understanding. Great is His faithfulness.

    2. Sarah Pathipphanith says:

      I’m so sorry Dorothy.

  7. Buffy Rennie says:

    Insure wish the app wouldn’t cut off the devotional. I often miss the last few statements.

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