Palm Sunday Devotional
David Breen – General Manager of Training, Discovery Community Care
Luke 19: 28-44
When you go to a football game or to see your favourite team play which team do you shout for the most – the winning team or the one you support? Say you are watching the Olympics, what team do you shout for and urge on to win? You probably support your country no doubt (unless you are dual national and have to keep calm when others are present who are from other countries!). If you were watching a Grand Final at the MCG and your team were one point from the lead at 30 seconds to the final hooter, would you be sitting down eating a pie and peas? Not likely, mate, you would be up on your feet shouting your lungs out! If your team wins and you see them later in the parade … I think you may be shouting their praise and giving them 100% devotion for the awesome victory. Yes?!
Humans love to praise and celebrate a winning team. We all love winners and to be on the winning side (unless you are from the Pharisee club). The attitude of the crowd of disciples and the Pharisees was very different towards Jesus – on what we now call palm Sunday. They were not all barracking for the same team! They were not giving praise the same over – it was definitely a one side ticker tape parade that day – the disciples were excited and the Pharisees were less than exuberant!
The crowd identified with Jesus and what he had done in their lives and their friend’s lives – they had just seen Lazarus brought to life and loads of miracles and healings. Jesus was their champion and he was fulfilling Old Testament prophecy by entering on a donkey as the Prince of Peace. They were excited and wanted everyone else to be excited with them. It was only natural for them to celebrate Jesus and to Praise God for who Jesus was and his entry into Jerusalem – just like we would if Richmond won the Grand Final (well I would any way) others may not be so happy.
In fact that was the case – the Pharisees were as angry as a mother bear without her cubs! They were not celebrating – they wanted it to stop. They did not want Jesus to enter the city and did not agree that he was worth celebrating. They told Jesus to tell his supporters to shut up! Jesus, however, told them it was useless – they had to do it, it was natural, even the rocks would if they didn’t. It is in our very nature to celebrate the champions of life! And who better than the Champion of all!
What is your response to Jesus?
Are you in the crowd with Jesus and celebrating his coming to us as the Prince of Peace, or standing back and criticising the loud noise and shouting? Have you recognised the awesome things that Jesus has done? Have you allowed him to touch you and bring his winning spirit into your life that makes you want to shout and rejoice with the angels; “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest”!
You can be one of the disciples and worship him, or you can remain disgruntled and miss out on all the celebrations. Don’t be like the Pharisees who stood back and criticised the humble king who rode in on a donkey. It’s easy to stand back and criticise those who are wildly celebrating, but if you don’t do it the very rocks will do it because Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and our Saviour – and that’s a whole lot more exciting than football!
This Easter is a great time to find out what Jesus really came to do and why we celebrate his life and death. I urge you to move into the crowd that celebrates the greatest person who ever lived and died so we can have eternal life. He calls you now to join him, to be one of his fans and learn from him as his disciple, the amazing wonders he does for those who call him Lord.