Scripture Reading: Zechariah 9:9-10 (NIV) Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21: 6-10 (MSG) The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!” As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?”
Explain Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos)
from “Church” tradition”
- a moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter
- it is the 1st day of Holy Week (Semana Santa)
- processions of people carrying palm branches
from our Latino Cultures
- many of our Latino countries close for business during this holy week
- many of us have witnessed a processional with Priests offering benedictions
- and MEN carrying a large cross
in my home
- we weren’t allowed to eat meat during Semana Santa (we ate sea food only)
- no tv/radio/reading unless it was religious/inspirational and soothing
But did you understand (what was going on)?
The Truth in the Story The reason our elders (grandparents) back then spent time without all the interruptions and distractions was because they were spending time reflection on the last days of Jesus as they understood them…
- thinking about his travels (tough times, rushed times)
- his sermons, his prayers, his stories
- his time spent with friends talking about the greatness of God
- this was a time of reflection
They prepared for Eastern Sunday!
But see today, is the first day of that week that our elders celebrated… But they forgot to mention it was a celebration!!
See, Palm Sunday, is the day we remember Jesus triumphant return to Jerusalem after all the human dirt and hurt and exclusion (rechaso) people tried to throw his way. This event was mentioned in all 4 gospels (Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19).
Words of Exaltation: Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
1. Matthew 21: 1-11 The Royal Welcome
- Hosanna to the Son of David
- Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
- Hosanna in the highest heaven
And those who didn’t know asked: “Who is this?” and the crowd responded: “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
2. John 12:12-19 See How your King Comes
- Blessed is he who comes in God’s name
- Yes! The King of Israel
And though no one asked, “who is this” the Pharisees took one look at the crowd and said, “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.”
3. Mark 11:1-11
- Blessed is he who comes in God’s name
- Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David
- Hosana in highest heaven
And no one questioned him or shushed him…but it was late by the time he made it to the temple, so he looked around and took it all in before returning to Bethany with the twelve.
4. Luke 19: 28-40 God’s Personal Visit
- Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name
- All’s well in Heaven! Glory in the high places!
And when the Pharisees told Jesus, “Teacher get your disciples under control” He replied, “if they keep quiet the stones will cry out
The Story is (re)Written But this is our story, not only Jesus’ story…we are connected…even the donkey!
The donkey was going through life as a lowly little donkey living at home minding it’s own business. Preparing to be what it’s bred to be, a beast of burden. Carrying heavy things back and forth for its masters (a slave). The donkey isn’t a horse, it doesn’t pull chariots it doesn’t do well in battle, it has a role to play and would have never imagined that its role could change. Until Jesus comes along and needs it, and uses it, and CHANGES it’s story.
See conquering heroes return on beasts of battle (horses) but Jesus comes in riding a beast of burden (mule/donkey). Two things about mules and donkeys: they are slaves and they never get to be part of the victory parade. But this donkey had a story to tell, because it got to go where no donkey had been before!
Every day with Jesus was a new day, but Palm Sunday is a day of triumph. It wasn’t exactly like all the other days or all the other times Jesus had entered a town. This is the day when he walks into town and he is greeted by name and by title. This is the day when he walks into town and people are already pumped to see him! This is the day when the honored guest who has already been walking among us is finally recognized and welcomed…and the few who didn’t know asked “What’s going on here? Who is this?”
In the words of Bill Hemmerling, “One day when I let God out of the box I built, he danced with me” and I danced with him!
Conclusion God can use us even if we have always been told we are less than worthy. Our story is still being written all the way till our last breath!
A week or so later I was catching up on my podcasts and I heard this: Bishop T. D. Jakes, Sit on Me