As we begin to turn our focus towards the last few weeks of Lent and draw closer to Easter, this week's reading is taken from Mark's Gospel chapter 11:1-11. It is full of echoes from the Old Testament, perhaps some of which may be lost on us today. However, as you read the passage try to imagine being present: what do you notice? Is there a phrase or word that strikes you as important? What is God saying to you as you hear this fascinating moment that we celebrate on Palm Sunday?
Click here to read the passage - www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark+11%3A1-11&version=ESVUK
Responding to the Passage
During Mark's Gospel account we hear a whole range of responses to Jesus. There are those who opposed Jesus, often the religious elite of the day. There were the constantly bemused and bewlidered disciples. There were the broken and outcasts in society who saw in Jesus hope and liberation from the life they were living. We also see the inquisative crowds who were often gathered around Jesus: some looking for the miraculous, some hoping Jesus was the new military leader they had longed for, some who just liked to join with the rest of the crowd...
As you read the passage again, what do you hear now? What might this be saying to you about those you know and love, some who passionately follow Jesus, others who oppose him, others who are longing for hope...
Take a moment to be still... If God lays someone on your heart pray for them... give thanks for them... and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to them the one the crowds celebrated on that first 'Palm Sunday.'
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Questions you might want to ponder...
Why is there such a focus, in this passage, on finding 'a colt on which no one has ever sat'? Are there any Old Testament passages that might explain this?
We often call this the 'Triumphal Entry,' but as you read it, do you get the sense of a triumphal entry?
'Many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.' John's Gospel talks about branches of palm trees in 12:13, whilst Mark makes a specific mention of leafy branches cut from the fields... Why might this be important? What might it tell us about the people in the crowd who have gathered?
What does the word Hosanna mean? Why were they shouting that, and calling out about the coming kingdom of David?
Prayer to pray
Lord, this week we remember how you entered Jerusalem in triumph, and were proclaimed as King by those who
spread their cloaks and waved their branches as you rode in humility.
May we also praise you as our King, as our Saviour, and follow you in the way that leads to life in all its fullness.