Palm/Passion Sunday: April 1
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'”
They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it.
Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
“The Lord needs it.” These words satisfied the bystanders. Had Jesus pre-arranged this use of the donkey? Or were the bystanders carelessly letting perfect strangers take the colt? Either way, the words, “the Lord needs it” were enough to convince the onlookers. They let the disciples proceed with their task, fulfilling the will of Jesus.
The next days would test the disciples own ability to fulfill the will of Jesus. Though this day would be one of great rejoicing; though many people would honor Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on the back of that donkey; still the entry into Jerusalem signaled the beginning of the most challenging phase of the disciples’ journey with Jesus. Would “the Lord needs it” be enough motivation for them to see this journey through to the end?
Is “the Lord needs it” motivation enough for us to fulfill the will of Jesus?
Dear God, on this day of Hallelujah,
give me the desire to fulfill the will of Jesus.
Make “the Lord needs it” enough motivation for me.
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President