And throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as He rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As He was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." (Luke 19:35-40)
Sometimes Palm Sunday reminds me of a roller-coaster. You know how there's always one point where you find yourself sitting at the very top of a tall, tall hill, as the car moves slowly, slowly toward a huge, deep drop? That's Palm Sunday. You know that any moment now you'll be heading for the ground at a terrifying speed—but right now, at the top of the world, the view is amazing.
It must have been like that for Jesus. He knew perfectly well what was coming up—the cleaning of the temple, the Last Supper, the betrayal, Gethsemane, arrest, trial, torture, and death. But for just a short time, He was looking at a tiny preview of the way it will be at the end of the world—when humanity is set free and celebrating: "A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" (Revelation 7:9b-10)
That was what He came for—to turn wretched, shivering slaves of sin into the free, joyful people of God. And Palm Sunday was a foretaste of the joy that would be His—and all of ours—on that final day when Jesus returns to bring us into God's kingdom. No wonder He said, "If these (people) were silent, the very stones would cry out!" Palm Sunday is a time for joy, because our Savior has come and is setting us free.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for giving us a foretaste of this joy. Amen.
* Name one of the happiest celebrations you can remember. What made it happy?
* Have you ever been there when an unplanned celebration broke out? What happened?
* What do you most look forward to about Jesus' return?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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