Day 1 - Triumphal Entry // Holy Week

Day 1 // Triumphal Entry

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – Matthew 21:1-11 

When I was a kid, I remember coming to church in the springtime and getting palm branches to wave around. We would fold the leaves into little crosses, and the branches would decorate the kitchen table until Easter. This sweet keepsake showed the journey that Jesus and the donkey took through Jerusalem as a fun, joyful experience with cheering crowds who laid down branches, and even their own clothes, on those dusty streets to honor the coming Messiah. 

Palm Sunday is also known as the Triumphal Entry. The people were celebrating the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, believing Jesus to be an earthly king. They shouted “Hosannah!” which can be translated as “save” or “rescue.” They knew that Jesus was their Savior, but they believed this would be an earthly rescue. When Jesus went instead to the cross, I imagine that many people there believed Him to be a false prophet. They believed that their prayers hadn’t been answered. They didn’t understand that they were being saved in an even greater sense, through the sacrifice of that innocent man on a criminal's cross. 

We can sometimes feel a similar way today, when we pray specific prayers and we feel they go unanswered. We may pray for the immediate removal of an obstacle, when God wants to use it to teach us a bigger lesson. We may pray for protection, when a small injury teaches us to be more cautious in the future. We may pray for healing, when God's plan is to bring that person home to Him instead. 

Whatever your prayers, lean on Him and fellow believers, trusting that it is all for His good. And while we may not understand the hardships of this world, have faith that our pain and sacrifices will be used to further His Kingdom. 

Author: Michelle Lemley, Nursery Coordinator