Context: On the next day after the Sabbath and anointing, Jesus chooses to ride into Jerusalem triumphantly. We call it Palm Sunday because of the palm (and other leafy) branches people waved while they sang antiphonal psalms and greeted their Messiah King. Look at the map below and you will see the proximity of Bethphage (Bethany) to Jerusalem; try to picture the winding road that takes someone toward Jerusalem, down the Kidron Valley and up to the Temple Mount. The crowd that witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection followed Jesus along the path, and they were joined by swelling crowds that came out of Jerusalem to meet Jesus on the way. Some Greeks try to get to Jesus through Philip and Jesus redirects them to deeper truths about dying to our own lives that we might truly live.
Observations: Why do you think the Jewish leaders were vexed? Note the prophecy from Zechariah that John quotes (and the people cried out). What does this tell you about Jesus? How would most human (and triumphant) rulers have entered Jerusalem at this time? Why was the raising of Lazarus such a tipping point? The leaders were so incensed they made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, so the miracle of resurrection didn’t keep Lazarus from all danger.
Application: Sing, shout, speak, write, proclaim the praises of Jesus Christ, our King, Priest and Messiah, today. In person, conversation or on social media … find a way to proclaim His glory and attributes.
Prayer: Lord, help us to seek the glory that is from the One and Only more than the glory that comes only from men. ‘How can you believe if we only seek men’s glory?,’ you ask. God, we cry out to you to take these circumstances of health risk, isolation, lost jobs and cancelled activities and turn them into something good for all of us. Change my heart so I/we/Evergreen can ‘see’ the good in all this and act in faith through it.