Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent. (Christian Post)
Some quick facts about Palm Sunday.
1. Palm Sunday is about peace and salvation.
2. Palm Sunday is the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy.“Shout and cheer, Daughter Zion!Raise the roof, Daughter Jerusalem! Your king is coming! A good king who makes all things right, a humble king riding a donkey, a mere colt of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9
3. People accepted Jesus as Messiah. Jesus publicly declared himself as the Messiah (definition: the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible. A leader or savior of a particular group or cause)
4. People misunderstood Jesus' message. The people wanted a political and military leader. Jesus came to establish a different kind of Kingdom, and to be a different kind of King.
5. Palms represent immortality.The palm branch was also a symbol of spiritual triumph over death. Victory.
This is not a teaching post about Palm Sunday. However, I wanted to provide some quick facts for context. We are leading into what Christians call Holy Week or Passion Week which precedes Resurrection or Easter Sunday. The name does justice to clearly and accurately describe the purpose of each observation. IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS. It's all about God's love and His redemptive work through his Son Jesus Christ. God is holy, and passionate about his children. His love and passion for us is so great, it sent his son Jesus to the Cross. He suffered and took our punishment so that we could be made right with God the Father. And on the third day, Jesus triumphantly and with finality put sin to death and resurrected so that we may now have a new and eternal life in and through him. That is Holy, Passion Week. That is Resurrection Sunday. That is good news. The good news, the simple gospel. Jesus declared himself Messiah over 2000 years ago, and he is still Messiah today. The people waved palm branches representing victory over death and today, we are living in the fulfillment of that victory over sin and death through the blood of Jesus Christ. The crowd on the day of Jesus' triumphant entrance shouted "hosanna, hosanna" meaning, "save, rescue." Today, he still saves and rescues. He is saving and rescuing us daily. What fitting and timely words especially for us today, April 5, 2020 with all that is taking place in our hearts, homes, nation and the world. God truly holds the universe and us in the palm of his hands.
So today, Palm Sunday. Let's not be those who worship and praise with only our lips, but yet our hearts are far from him and only near in times of trouble. May we be those who worship and adore him in all moments, seasons of life. Finally, may we be those who live lives in a heart posture that is continually "palms up." Open and openhanded. Yielded. Surrendered. Poured out. Expectant. Holding nothing back. Holding nothing too tightly but Jesus Himself. I can't get over the timing of Palm Sunday, Holy and Passion Week and subsequently Resurrection Easter Sunday. It's as if God is winking from Heaven saying, "I got this. I am not surprised. I am in control. I have a plan. I am turning it for good. I am turning it around. Just keep your eyes on me." Man. THAT. IS. POWERFUL. What an incredible and significant time to be alive as a Christian. I believe this moment in history holds great purpose and meaning for us. We take great courage and hope that the God of 2000 years ago, is the same God of 2020. He is alive and He is on his throne. He not only saved us, but is saving us. He is searching and seeking to find the lost and to strengthen the weak. The battle has been won. Death no longer has power over us. Victory is ours in Jesus Name. Today and everyday, let's live lives "palms up." And in all things we say, let your kingdom come and will be done in my life today, and forevermore.
The new normal. And prayerfully, a temporary new normal in regards to quarantining, business and school closures, shortage of supplies, stockpiling, job loss, travel restrictions, financial loss, and those likes. The ripple effect is heartbreaking, and the uncertainty and angst are real and valid. Undoubtedly, the recovery process and rebuilding will take time. Those are the facts. But as we are still in the middle of this fight, I'm reminded, again and again, we can get through this. We are not those who are without help or hope.
So how is our family navigating COVID-19? Honestly, the only way we know how, taking one day at a time and the same way we've lived and led our family over the years, digging deep to stay above the fray. Make no mistake, we are not elite, immune or unmoved by the images and reports we see and hear in the news. And by no means have we "perfected" any of this (if that is even possible), but we choose every d…
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “where did that _____ (insert the thought, emotion, feeling) come from?!” Now more than ever do we find that we need to be all the more vigilant and mindful of our input. Because it impacts our output.
That’s why I’m so thankful for the wisdom God gives through his written word. Keys to success. God’s word truly is our compass and navigation for every season, crisis, situation of life. The apostle Paul and Timothy knew a thing or two about persevering with joy and thanksgiving during times of crisis, trouble, immense pressure. And they ran their race well. Effectively and faithfully til the very end.
The chapter title for the verses above is clear and straightforward, "Practical Counsel.” Paul proceeds to list …
Always behaving or happening in a similar, especiallypositive, way: Not changing.In agreement with other facts or with typical or previousbehavior, or having the same principles as something else: Agreeing. Always happening or behaving in a similar way: Not varying. (Cambridge Dictionary)
I recently read this:It's hard to be consistent because we tend to focus on the outcome more than the process. Put another way, we're more drawn to the positive feelings of outcomes rather than the struggle of the journey. Most of us quit during the struggle before we can experience the rewards of staying the course.And there is truth to those words. Perhaps that is why scripture teaches us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and encourages us not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)
We see it so clearly in our current cultural and climate where greater value is placed on output, productivity. And the motivation is primarily to be "winning," #goals, perfecti…