Today is Palm Sunday, the day we as Christians commemorate Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem the week before His death and resurrection. It’s called Passion Sunday, beginning what we call “holy week.” Like you, I’ve read the account in John 12 what seems like my entire life. If we’re not careful, it can become so “common” to us that it fails to make a mark in the way we approach the week. As I was reading the passage this morning, something jumped out at me. I’ve thought about it all day. So my question is, “How will Passion Week affect you and me in an ‘uncommon’ way that provides Jesus a triumphant entry into our own hearts in the next six days?”
I was reminded that Jesus was not only 100% God, but He was 100% man. I doubt that Jesus was looking forward to what lay before Him at the cross (and that’s an understatement! Amen?). I wonder if Christ ever considered turning that donkey around when the first palm dropped at His donkey’s feet when they entered Jerusalem? I wonder if He was already missing his brothers and sisters? Yet the Word says in Luke chapter nine that He “resolutely set His face toward Jerusalem.” To set His face toward the Holy City meant crucifixion, yet He “resolutely” (with focus, purpose, and determination) exercised His will to do what the Father had called Him to do: DIE.
I’ve been thinking. How can I set my face toward Jerusalem this week? And I don’t mean casually. I mean with “gut felt” dedication. What is the Father calling me to die to in my journey to Easter Sunday? I began making my list, and the more I wrote, the longer it got.
I need to die to:
- my self – Lord, enable me to wipe “me and mine” out of my vocabulary. Break me away from vanity on every level.
- my ambitions – Lord, strip me of any goal whose ultimate purpose is NOT to give You glory.
- my worries – Lord, remind me to leave the results with You when I’ve prayed and prayed and I see nothing has changed.
- my inadequacies – Lord, teach me to celebrate my weaknesses. When I accept my limitations, then You show Yourself strong.
- my disappointments – Lord, help me yield to You what concerns me the most, knowing that You are always at work.
- my expectations – Lord, create in me a desire to want only what You already have planned for me.
- my future – Lord, remind me that I only have today. Empower me to make ‘this’ day count.
- my schedule – Lord, script my days to plan wisely by keeping my priorities straight: God, family, ministry.
Friend, the scripture says “the time had come” for Jesus to carry out His Father’s plan. I think “the time has come” for us to experience Passion Week in a way we have never received it in the past. What does that look like for you? As for me, I have a feeling it means I’ll be sharpening my pencil as my list grows by the minute. All I can say is this: Lord, I’m ready. Dig deep and prepare me for Resurrection Sunday.
Thoughts to ponder:
– Philippians 1:21 – For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
– John 10:18 – And Jesus said, No one takes my life from me. I lay it down on my own accord.
– John 15:13 – Greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Bless you, my fellow Christ follower, and Happy Holy Week.