Preparing for Easter1
As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen …
- Luke 19:36-37
This week we’re going to be studying a passage from Luke 19 that includes what’s been called Jesus’ Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem and that is celebrated annually in Christian communities around the world on Palm Sunday.
Today’s reading captures a crowd erupting into a semi-spontaneous worship session to accompany Jesus as he approaches the city.
We call it semi-spontaneous because it’s the disciples of Jesus who spark off the praise. They are the ones who lift their voices loudly. They turn a quiet processional into a triumphal entry. Were they trained? Were they coached? Were they egged on by Jesus?
The crowd spread their cloaks on the ground ahead of Jesus’ borrowed colt, calling to mind images of flower girls scattering petals before the bride approaches the altar. Demonstrations of honor pave the way for expressions of praise and joy.
Can you imagine the noise? Can you sense the enthusiasm?
The climax of the entire story of Jesus draws near. We’ll be pulled into it. It’s bigger than we can understand or comprehend. Generations later we’re still grappling with its implications for us and for our world.
If the disciples praise God for the miracles they’ve seen during Jesus’ earthly ministry, what will they make of Easter? If the people spread their cloaks on the ground before Jesus’ colt, what will they do before Jesus’ cross? If the crowd experienced joy at Jesus’ triumphal entry, what emotion does God invite us into in this moment … when King Jesus, full of mercy and justice, sits in joy upon his throne?
Today we want to invite you to begin the work of preparing your heart for Easter. It’s less than two weeks away. With forecasts of snow showers and promises of spring break, if you blink you’ll miss it.
Don’t miss Easter.
As a responsive exercise today, we want to invite you to engage with this hymn that reflects on Jesus’ kingship and Easter. We know, we don’t sing a lot of hymns. So, you can trust that this is a good one. Listen to it. Then, if you can, try singing it.
“Crown Him [Majesty][with Kari Jobe]” by Chris Tomlin