My Vision of Palm Sunday- Lent 2020

Meditation Focus: Triumphal Entry to Triumphal Suffering

Rather than leave today’s Lent 2020 Sabbath rest as silent meditation, I beg your indulgence. It’s important to gain that 2020 clarity of seeing things correctly and from God’s perspective, to let Him “Be Thou my Vision.”

The Triumphal Entry (as Palm Sunday is often called) was Triumphal mainly for the crowds who thought they were getting political liberation and victory over Rome. Jesus had something entirely different in mind. It was Triumphal Entry only as He went knocking on the doorway of death. It was His entry to Triumphal Suffering.

Following the events (using the Gospel according to Matthew beginning in Matthew 20:17), Jesus was headed to Jerusalem. He tells His disciples explicitly He will be betrayed, condemned to death, mocked, flogged, crucified, and only on the “third day” will He be raised to life.

After that major downer of news, what was their reply? It’s almost like they didn’t hear it! Scripture doesn’t record their immediate reply as individual disciples, but what comes next suggests they truly didn’t get it. Maybe they said, “OK”, or “Cool”, or “Whatever. Now about this Kingdom stuff. We’re stoked!”

It’s time Jesus corrected their understanding.

Vision correction 1. Their reply was to see who was going to sit next to Him at the coming of the Kingdom and they asked their mommy to press Jesus. Jesus says He can’t give them choice seats the Father alone gives, but they too will drink the cup of suffering. It’s not about honor. It’s about suffering.

Vision correction 2. The crowds see 2 noisy blind men as hecklers and spoil sports of the big parade they’re following. Jesus gives the 2 men sight, displaying His compassion. This is not a popularity thing by a nice man, but a steady drumbeat of fulfilling Scripture.

Vision correction 3. Entering Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of a donkey, the city is stirred and asks, “Who is this?” The crowd in the big parade answers incorrectly: “Jesus the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus answers for Himself by overturning tables in the temple area and pointing to Himself as receiving the praise ordained by God from children and infants. “The Son of David,” the children shout–it’s a Messianic term.

Vision correction 4. Jesus curses a fig tree that is all show and no fruit as He enters the temple area and His authority is questioned by the all-show-and-no-fruit crowd of chief priests and elders of the people. They have the audacity to try to test Him. They’ll wither spiritually for it.

Vision correction 5. Jesus is not a political solution and doesn’t fall for that trap. Jesus knows their evil intent. Don’t ever confuse politics with faith.

Vision correction 6. The Kingdom of God and the elites of men are two different things entirely. Jesus, pointing that out and seven woes later, lets them know in explicit terms He knows their showy but empty power structures and how vacant they are. “Your house is left to you desolate” He says.

Vision correction 7. The temple isn’t what you think it is. It’ll be destroyed. So much for what man builds.

Vision correction 8. Don’t go looking for a checklist, a crib sheet, or signs for you to determine for yourself when the end of the age will come. That hour is unknown for good reason. Your job? Be ready.

Vision correction 9. Trust Me, you don’t want a Judge to assess vindication rights before I’ve paid for your sins. The good works are helpful, but only as you do them for others as if we did them for Jesus out of gratitude for His mercy. Unforgiven sinners who do nice things are still unforgiven sinners who do nice things and die unforgiven.

Vision correction 10. We all betray Him. Some more irredeemably than others. Judas was over the edge and couldn’t live with himself afterward. Peter would be restored. Our collective sin and universal betrayal is why He had to die. We’re all to blame.

Vision correction 11. It’s not blasphemy if it’s true. Jesus alone is God’s one and only Son, His perfect Image, and the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. The only thing false in the accusations of the high priest, chief priests, and Pilate–are You the Son of God and King of the Jews–was they didn’t believe Him when He said Yes.

Vision correction 12. Jesus went to Jerusalem to conquer. But the invisible enemy with the visible results (death)–now, that was the enemy He would engage in battle. Not the temporary and minor victory over Rome. The genius of God was hitting a target no one among the Pharisees could see. Even today, faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners is a target many remain blind to seeing. Give it up. You can’t earn it yourself. We all need Jesus.

So as we progress through Passion Week, let’s do it with corrective lenses of Scripture to see the Triumphal Entry for what it meant to Jesus. He entered into suffering for us, to give His life as a ransom for many. Amen?

This year’s Lent Devotional Series: Be Thou My Vision resumes tomorrow after today’s Sabbath.


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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 5, 2020

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