April 2, 2023 • Palm Sunday

In the biblical narrative, the Palm Sunday weekend was a very busy time for Jesus. There was a flurry of activity and some key miracles right before Jesus triumphantly enters into Jerusalem. St. John tells us that the people didn’t know what to make of Jesus; in fact, he tells us of four responses to Jesus on Palm Sunday:

1. The disciples did not understand what was happening.
2. Some people were amazed and intrigued by Jesus
3. Others followed Him because they wanted to see if He would do any more miracles
4. And the Pharisees were exasperated, and they put a reward out for anyone willing to help arrest him. They were bent on killing Him.

It’s the same today, isn’t it? Jesus divides people. Some people hear the Word, believe His promises, and trust in Him. Others don’t know what to make of Him, and end up ignoring Him completely. And still others, in the hardness of their heart, reject him and are hostile to His Word and His People. Jesus Himself taught us that He divides people; some believe and some don’t, it’s the nature of the gospel.

And with that, Holy Week begins.

By faith, let us join with Bartimaeus, Zacchaeus, Lazarus, and the others in praying “Hosanna!” as we wave our palms branches. But we know what is coming this week. This week will spiral into demonic darkness:
• Jesus will be betrayed with a kiss, by one of the 12 disciples!
• He will be arrested by an armed crowd,
• He will be denied by Peter — His close friend.
• He will be ridiculed with a purple robe;
• He will be crowned with painful thorns;
• He will be beaten, whipped, spit on, insulted and abused;
• He will be tried in a mock trial by the high priest, and
• He will be dragged before an unjust Roman Governor
• He will die by crucifixion
• He will be buried in a stranger’s tomb

Everything Jesus taught and every miracle that He performed pointed forward to this. This is why He came into the world. This is how He saves us from our sins. With Bartimaeus, Zacchaeus, Lazarus, and the others, we will watch
and believe! Amen!

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