Waved Palms To Pierced Palms, Post #24

Note: So much happened in those few days, few chapters of the Bible between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Day. Too much inspiration for this small blog post.  With that in mind, if you would be so kind as to read two extra “Pure Inspiration” posts this week, one on Good Friday and one on Easter, Resurrection Day, I pray you will be encouraged in your faith.

What a week. What a Holy Week.

Scene 1: The week started out with us waving lush green palm fronds, led by the children parading down the aisle, as we all waved our palms singing “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”  (Matthew 21: 9b NIV 1984). Palm Sunday is a joyful, respectful celebration of  Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

We are fickle. The same crowd who waved palms at Jesus that Sunday before, yelled “Crucify!” on Good Friday, just five days later. Lord, forgive our two-mindedness, our waffly, indecisive hearts.

Scene 2: Then came Thursday night. Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover with His disciples. During His ministry, including the last days before His horrible death and glorious Resurrection,  Jesus optimized every moment trying to teach, train and empower his dense, yet teachable disciples. What a Leader, the best Leader of all time. Jesus wanted to ensure He conveyed all He could. In His mind and heart, he knew it was the Last Supper.  In our minds and hearts, it was the First Communion, the first Lord’s Supper. He taught His disciples that the bread is “My body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19b NIV 1984) That the wine is His “blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28 NIV 1984).

How do you feel when you take communion?   Do you take it for granted?  May we prayerfully savor the bread and cup with deep gratitude each time we are blessed to take communion.

Scene 3:  In a poignant scene in John 13 of unconditional love and humility, Jesus stooped down low to wash His disciples’ feet. They didn’t want Him to, mind you. Feet are gross. He was teaching them, sweetly, softly, tenderly, what it means to be a servant leader. To stoop down low to raise others high.  The upside-down leadership pyramid.

“I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:16 NIV 1984).

Scene 4: Gethsemane. Moments after the Lord’s Supper, Jesus took his three closest disciples, Peter, James and John with him to pray. It is so difficult on my heart to see Jesus’ total transparency when He says, almost begs “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38, NIV 1984).  Sadly, His three most reliable disciples all fell asleep, not even praying on Jesus’ behalf or showing support.  Jesus prayed three different times asking for the cup to be taken away if possible, for God’s will to be done.

Scene 5: Judas betrays Jesus and has Him falsely arrested, in exchange for 30 pieces of silver, just a day’s slave wages.  Jesus was in total control and knew this was God’s will.

Scene 6: Jesus was taken before the Sanhedrin. Even with false witnesses, they couldn’t find evidence to convict Him.

Scene 7: Peter, also known as the “Rock,” denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, just as Jesus had prophesied to Peter. Peter wept bitterly and repented.

Scene 8: Judas said he had betrayed an innocent man. Notice he didn’t call Him the Messiah or Son of God. Judas still didn’t recognize Jesus’ sovereignty. He threw the silver into the temple, left and sadly hanged himself.  There would have always been an opportunity for him to repent, but Judas didn’t.

Scene 9: Jesus was then brought to Pilate, whose wife knew Jesus was innocent. The chief priest and elders gave the crowd a choice–to release Jesus or the notorious criminal and sinner Barabbas. Pilate thought Jesus would go free. The crowd wanted Barabbas released and yelled “Crucify!” to Jesus.

Guess what Barabbas means? “Son of Abba.” Barabbas means “Son of the Father.” Each of us is a son (or daughter) of the Father. That means all of us. We are Barabbas. Jesus was our substitute.

From the waved palms of the crowd singing “Hosanna!” to the peer pressured crowd crying “Crucify!” on Good Friday morning, resulting in the pierced palms of Jesus’ hands, may we deeply feel the matchless love and sacrifice God has for us, His children….

 Reflect:

–Where do you fit into this Easter story? Please comment.

–What influence does a crowd make on decisions? Is the majority always right?

–Have you considered symbolically washing others’ feet? Are you a servant leader?

Renew:

–“But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” –Matthew 26:64 NIV 1984

–“All the people answered, ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children!'” –Matthew 27:25 NIV 1984

Recharge:

–How may we live more deeply for Jesus and show love to others?

–How will you embolden your Christian faith, even if you aren’t in a crowd or in the majority?

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  1. Jon Stroud says:

    We see lots of possible correlations of “crowd speak” in our daily lives. It is hard, sometimes, to know if we are fulfilling prophecy (as in this Easter story) or just fulfilling our own desires. What a great lesson we can all learn from this Easter story. And thank You, Lord, for your Grace, even though we cannot earn it.

    Glory be to God!

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