Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The towns of Bethany and Bethpage are located by the Mount of Olives.
Before Jesus enters into Jerusalem, another prophecy is fulfilled. The Messiah will come riding in on a donkey.
“Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said.
And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.”
See how that matches the words of Zechariah? What is also amazing is this donkey ride bookends the life of Jesus.
You see, the last time we hear of Jesus riding to Jerusalem on a donkey is in his mother’s womb. Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus ready to enter the world came past Jerusalem on their way to Bethlehem just outside of town. So, we have a donkey ride at the beginning of his life and now there will be another at the end.
The disciples know the significance of what is taking place. They know the significance of spreading garments before royalty.
So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him.
Here is another prophecy fulfilled.
2 Kings 9
Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” They hurried and took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
Spreading garments and red carpets…Similar?
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Jericho is 850 feet below sea level. It is not only the oldest city in the world, it is the lowest city. To travel from Jericho to Jerusalem is 18 miles straight up hill. And Jerusalem is at 3000 ft. above sea level. So, it is almost a 4000 foot gain in altitude!
What do you do when you travel in such harsh and desolate conditions? The same as you might have done if you took any long car riding vacations when you were a kid.
You sing songs to pass the time.
Going up the mountain road, Jesus and all the other travelers who were going to Jerusalem for the Passover would be singing. Especially songs from the book of psalms. Like Psalm 118.
Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Sound familiar? We will be hearing these same words soon.
So, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem, his disciples are following him, and so are others who are coming for the Passover festival. His entourage gets even bigger as he leaves Jericho for the last leg of his journey. Jesus even heals two blind men on the way and they follow him, too!
When they all arrive at Jerusalem, the desolate countryside instantly turns into a bustling city. Jesus would get to the top of the mountain overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Then he would head to the Mount of Olives.
What songs from your childhood do you remember?
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.”
When we look at the original Palm Sunday, we realize Jesus has already indicated to his disciples how they ought to look at what is happening carefully. Like a master playwright, the whole scene is blocked out. It is about prophecies from the Bible.
The last stop for Jesus and his disciples before they get to Jerusalem is in Jericho.
Jericho is the most ancient city in the world, where people have been living in this oasis in the middles of a desert continuously since 9000 B.C.
Jericho is the last water hole for people traveling to Jerusalem. The last vegetation you see is palm trees. So many palm trees that Jericho is called the city of Palms. How appropriate considering what will happen soon.
What is your favorite part of the desert?
Clean Up, Clean up, Everybody do your share…
This is the opening line of our preschool’s clean up song, so why let them have all the fun?We are having a church clean up day this Saturday, April 8from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. We are getting ready for our community and guests! We want to make our church home look awesome for the holy days!We have plenty to do for every man, woman and child, indoors and outdoors.Why not help out for the entire time, 3 hours, two hours, one hour…There is plenty to do!Bring gloves and rakes.Breakfast snacks and lunch available!
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
You may not know anyone who is begging for Jesus in their lives. We don’t live in a world where everyone is looking for a Messiah. We live in a world where most people are their own Messiah. Like the old song by Depeche Mode. “Be your own personal Jesus.”
But, that is not working. Our world is filled with people who may not be begging for Jesus but who are begging for what only he can bring. People are looking for this in other people.
Love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, patience, and self-control.
These are the fruits only the Holy Spirit can live out through our lives. The kindest, gentlest, most loving person living through their own earthly gifts and personality will not be able to sustain what is needed. If you have been around long enough you learn It takes as much supernatural power to truly live your life for the sake of others as it does to walk on water. To actively seek the good of another person no matter who they are, to see someone else through the eyes of God, developing compassion and good will instead of resentment, this can only come through God.
The time Jesus spends with the Samaritan woman becomes the birth of a new era in the history of the world. Seeking the good of others, no matter who they are is exclusively and uniquely the gate Jesus enters and he stakes this same claim through you. You stand before the gate that is only meant for you. There are lives in the balance. Won’t you enter join Jesus in his work?
Who and What are the “Messiahs” of our society?
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
Do you want what Jesus wants? His nourishment comes from finishing his work. The gate that only he is meant to enter. This is the gate that makes heaven available to earth and eternal life available for all, now and forever. This gate of Jesus is one we all are called to share.
Remember, life with Jesus means he lives with us and through us. He abides in us and does through us only what is meant for us personally to do. Growing up in an agricultural society, Jesus compares this to a harvest.
People will be rescued and restored by God because someone planted seeds in someone else and they will come to saving faith as a result of Jesus working through you.
…the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life.
There is no one else God plans on using to reach certain people than you. You may be the one who plants the seeds that will later bear fruit though someone else’s work. Or you may be used to connect someone to Jesus where someone else has planted seeds before. Like Jesus says, “What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!”
Joy is promised to those who join the work of Jesus. So, if I desire joy in my life, what might I do?
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
The central message of Jesus is the kingdom of God is near to us. Through Jesus, whatever is available in heaven is available here on earth. This hasn’t sunk in with the disciples, yet. They are still thinking on an earthly level. If you need food you find it in the village. At the grocery store. In the restaurant. But, Jesus is the one who creates the ingredients that make up our food. So, if he is living in and through us, all that is in heaven is available to us. Including nourishment to keep us going. Why do we need to keep going? To bring the love and joy of Jesus to those around us. If Jesus lives in and through us, then we join him in his work of bringing God to those who are seeking him.
Here is the “How?”
Jesus sends the power of the Holy Spirit to you to equip you to spread his love, joy and peace. There are people only you can invite. Don’t underestimate the uniqueness of your role in God’s plans. There is a life only you are meant to lead. Like a gate only you can enter.
How does it make you feel to know that you have a unique purpose in God’s plans?
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
The woman at the well figured this out. She goes to the well to draw water for the rest of the day, after all. But, notice she leaves the water behind. There is something for her to do that is prepared only for her.
“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, ‘Come and see…’”
Didn’t we hear this phrase before? Ah, yes, the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Two of John the Baptist’s students are meeting Jesus.
“Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come and see,” he said.
A short time later, Philip meets Jesus. Then Philip speaks to Nathanael.
Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
Come and see. A personal invitation. God has a plan to rescue and restore his creation and you have a purpose in his plan. Your purpose is like the gate, and only you can enter. Are you living a “come and see” life? Jesus is and he wants his life to be in you. He has things to do through you but only you can enter into this life.
When we look at the purpose of our lives in this way, it is not only shocking, it is scary. Who is it I am being used by Jesus to invite into a life with him, too? And besides the question “Who?” there is also the question, “How?”
What might “Come and see” mean in a Christian context?