The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 1 - Day 5
Come and Worship
The Triumphal Entry
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 19:28-40 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
This is the account of the first Palm Sunday. This day begins what Christians have come to call, Holy Week, the final week of Jesus’ life. Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time on this day. He entered from the east, over the Mount of Olives. At the top of the mountain approaching Jerusalem, they would have had a magnificent view of the city, looking down onto it from above.
Jesus knew what was ahead of him. Luke notes that for some time, Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem where he knew the trial he would face. Yet he did not cower from it, but led the way, as he did that day going down the side of the Mount of Olives, with his disciples and followers around him. Luke notes that Jesus sent two disciples to bring a young donkey for him to ride. The story reminds us that when we are sent on an errand for Christ, as were the two disciples, we will have God’s blessing and provision. God will smooth the way for what he sends us to do.
It is poignant that Jesus entered the city riding on a donkey. Caesar would have entered on a great stallion; Jesus’ entrance stands in marked contrast. Yet Jesus was the greatest king to ever enter any city. His birth was quiet and mostly private, but this acclamation is public. God moves the hearts of his followers to praise him with loud voices, their words indicating that they believed Jesus to be the Messiah, who came from the line of David. When they shouted, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” they understood Jesus to be this Messiah. This event took place on Sunday, the first day of the week.
The exaltation of Christ always vexes his enemies. Since the Pharisees had seen many mighty things Jesus had done, it is amazing they did not have faith. Instead they wanted Jesus to rebuke his followers but Jesus would not do so. Rather, he said that the stones would cry out in praise if the people did not. This very important event in the life of Jesus is an appropriate celebration as Jesus enters Jerusalem for the final week of his life.
Things to Consider –
· This is a story about worship. Do you ever feel like you truly worship? When?
· If worship is to lose yourself in God, do you ever experience this?
· When do you take time to praise God? Does God ever put praise into your heart or do you leave it to the stones to praise God in your place?
· This account reminds the church that occasions of praise and worship are appropriate. The church should have occasions in which it especially praises and worships God because Jesus is worthy of all praise and adoration.
· If you had been in this crowd, would you have participated? Enthusiastically? Or in a more reserved way? What characterizes your worship? What holds you back?
· Do you ever feel like Christ sends you on an errand? Is Christ sending you in any way now?
· The donkey was used at someone else’s expense but the people spread their cloaks at their own. Are you willing to serve Christ at your own expense? How do you do so?
· Christ’s exaltation always vexes his enemies. Who are today’s enemies of Christ? How are they vexed?
· What do you think it would have been like for the stones to praise Jesus?
· Christ led the way into Jerusalem. Are you leading the way for others or holding back? What characterizes your discipleship?
· The Christ who came humbly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is now the exalted Christ of Revelation, chapter 5. Read this chapter about the exalted Christ.
Guide for Prayer –
· Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was a day of praise. Take time to thank God for three blessings in your life.
· Imagine yourself in the crowd that day. What do you think it would have been like? Imagine the scene in your mind.
· Again, imagine yourself in the crowd on Palm Sunday. Picture Jesus coming down the mountain. See yourself taking off your cloak and laying it in front of him.
· In prayer imagine yourself praising God enthusiastically. See yourself among the crowd and imagine yourself fully a part of the celebration of Jesus. How does it feel to see yourself participating in this way?
· Ask God if he has any errands for you to do this week. Ask him to give you his blessing and provision as you do them.
· An important part of every service of worship is praise to God. Ask God to help you be more spiritually prepared for your church’s worship the next time you attend. Take a few moments and praise God now.
· Consider what is ahead of Christ at he enters the city and thank God for what he will do. What do you think Christ felt at this moment? Thank God that Jesus came into our world to serve us by giving his life for our sakes.
· Prayer to our Heavenly Father – You are worthy of all praise because you have created all things and by your hand everything exists.
· Prayer to the Son – Lord Jesus, thank you that you were willing to enter Jerusalem, knowing it would lead to your death.
· Prayer to the Holy Spirit – Holy Spirit, fill me with a spirit of worship so that I too can praise you worthily.
· Pray for the church universal and your local congregation. Ask God’s blessings on both.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.