Scripture: Luke 19
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, but that’s not what it was called back in Jesus’ time. It was actually called lamb selection day. It was part of the Passover celebration where five days before Passover you would go and pick out a lamb that you and your family would offer as a sacrifice.
It may seem foreign to us, and actually kind of sadistic to have the family select a little lamb that they’re going to sacrifice in a few days. But that’s how it worked. That was the system they had for thousands of years. And it was a joyous celebration because the lamb chosen would be the one that would represent the sins of your family.
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! — John 1:29
Why did Jesus enter the city in the way He did? He was showing more about his kingdom and his kingship and his way of ruling by saying what he’s not. People expected:
- a lion of war and he comes as the Lamb of God.
- a mighty war horse and he’s on a donkey.
Jesus is saying, quite dramatically, that, “I am not the type of king you think I am. My kingdom is different than any kingdom of this earth.” It’s the up-side-down kingdom.
- Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve.
- The first will be last, and the last will be first.
- The proud will be humbled, and the humble will be exalted.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He wept over a people who don’t recognize him.
Consider what Jesus might be weeping over in your life. Is there something in your life you keep hidden from Jesus, that causes sadness, pain or guilt? Give it to Jesus, today.
Questions for personal reflection or group study:
- Jesus is on his way to celebrate Passover. What is Passover and what significance did it have for the Jews? What earlier time did Jesus spend in the Judean desert? (Luke 4: 1-12) Think about a trial you’ve been through, how do you feel about revisiting where that trial took place?
- When Jesus enters the city he discovers that his friend Lazarus has died and he weeps with Mary and Martha, then raises Lazarus from the dead, why? What reaction did the Pharisees have?
- Palm Sunday was previously called “Lamb Selection Day” part of the Passover celebration. What was the significance of this holiday and why did God chose this day for Jesus to make the triumphal entry?
- Read Luke 19:29-34. Jesus sends his disciples to bring him a young donkey. Why not a majestic steed, after all he is God and can ride whatever he wants? What is his message to the people here?
- There are a lot of prophecies in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the New Testament and this is one. Read Zachariah 9:9-10, how do these verses speak of Jesus?
- Jesus is “The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”, according to John the Baptist (John 1:29). This is part of the upside down kingdom, why? What other examples did Matt give?
- The Pharisees, hearing the crowd cheering, told Jesus to rebuke or quiet them. Jesus replied that if he did the stones would cry out; why? What is Jesus’ message to all of us here?
- Evaluate your life. Would you recognize Jesus if he were sitting next to you? Jesus weeps for a dead friend and for a city that doesn’t recognize him; what is he weeping about for you? Is your heart hard toward him? Is your life for Jesus louder an everyday celebration of worship to God?