Friday, February 17, 2017

Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-11

“And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,  And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.  And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.” (Mark 11:1-3)

Thursday evening, six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived Bethany.  Friday, Martha and Mary served a dinner in his honor and Mary washed his feet with ointment, according to John 12:1-10.    At night Jesus and his disciples camped out in the nearby hills.  Saturday, the Sabbath, the people went to Jerusalem and spread the word that Jesus was there.  Many people came out to Bethany to see both Jesus and Lazarus. Sunday morning, on their way back into Bethany, Jesus sent two of his disciples to Bethphage  To get an untrained donkey.  They were to bring him , telling anyone who questioned him that it was for the Lord. 

“And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.  And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?  And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.  And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strowed them in the way.  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” (Mark 11:4-7)

The disciples found the donkey and brought him to Jesus, placing their coats on him so that Jesus’ clothing would not be sweat stained when he got to Jerusalem.   As a show of respect, many of the people spread palm branches on the road to help hold down the dust, treating him like royalty.  Some went before him and others followed after him, all singing and rejoicing that God had sent him.   Four days later, some of the same crowd would be shouting “crucify him,” at the priests’ instigation. 

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.” (Mark 11:11)

Jesus spent most of the day looking at how things were done in the temple, healing people and teaching them and his disciples.  According to Matthew and Luke, this was the day Jesus cleansed the temple for the second time, and the priests and religious leaders challenged his authority to do so.  That evening he returned to the hills around Bethany to camp.  

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