You may not believe me, but I am really enjoying the Men’s and Women’s NCAA basketball tournament. Of course I was sorely disappointed when Duke got knocked out early, but in some strange way it has been freeing to simply enjoy the games without all the stress and anxiety that comes from some over exuberant fan wishing, hoping for his team to win.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus and his disciples arriving in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover after a long journey. Jesus’ arrival in the city is often referred to as the “triumphal entry.” And it was—the crowds cried out, “Praise the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” And they sang “Hosanna!” while throwing palm branches and coats on his path.
This Sunday also begins Holy Week and it looks like we have a winner as Jesus rides into Jerusalem amidst adoring fans like a favorite #1 seed. However despite Jesus’s royal treatment this proclaimed king would be hanging on a cross-like throne by the week’s end – a loser. Why?
One of the exciting components of the NCAA tournament is how all these bracket-busting underdogs have been upsetting the #1 seeds and blue blood teams. As the least has become the best we see a great reversal of the old traditional order. Could this be what happens on this upcoming Holy Week?
My bridge is almost complete but we still have to journey with Jesus to the cross before we can get to Easter. This week’s obstacle to grace has to do with suffering. When we view Jesus’s suffering before His ultimate victory we may have a better understanding of our own.
Come and see,
Prayer for Palm Sunday: Almighty and everlasting God, in your tender love for us you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon himself our nature and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and come to share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.