Summary: A sermon for Palm Sunday
When they approached Jerusalem the next day and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, ‘Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied up. Tied with her will be a colt which no one has ever ridden. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything or asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say to him, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he’ll immediately send them here.’
Those who were sent left and did what Jesus told them. They found a young donkey tied outside the door in the street, just as he had described, and they untied it.
The owners were standing there and said, ‘What are you doing? Why are you untying the colt?’
‘The Lord needs it,’ they said, repeating what Jesus had told them to say.
Then the owners let them go. So they brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus, threw their clothing on them, and sat Jesus on the colt.
As he rode along, they began to spread their articles of clothing on the road. When he came to the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, a large crowd of disciples began to shout for joy and to praise God loudly for all the miracles they had seen. ‘Blessed is the King who is coming in the name of the Lord!’ they shouted. ‘Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!’
A huge crowd had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem, they cut down palm branches, went out to meet him, and spread the branches on the road. The crowds who followed him as well as those who went ahead of hem kept shouting, ‘Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!’ ‘Blessed is the kingdom of our father David!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’
All this happened to fulfill what the prophet said:
Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Don’t be afraid!
Look, our King is coming to you,
humble, and riding a donkey,
even a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
The disciples didn’t understand these things at first. But after Jesus was glorified they remembered these predictions about him, and that they had done these things to him.
The people who were with him when he raised Lazarus from the dead and called him from the tomb were telling others all about it. That is why the people went out to meet him; they heard that he had performed this great miracle.
Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, restrain your disciples.’
But he answered them, ‘I’m telling you, if they were to keep quiet, the very stones would cry out!’
When he came near and saw the city, he wept over it. ‘If only you – yes, you – had known on this special day the things that would bring you peace! But now they are hidden from you. The days are coming when your enemies will build a siege ramp around you and encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will level you to the ground – with your children inside you – and will not leave one stone upon another. This will happen because you didn’t recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’