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Lent - Day 7

Day 7  Saturday


That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 3).


John 12: 12-15, 19
The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,   
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;    
behold, your king is coming,            
sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 
So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Luke 19: 37-40
As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Luke 19: 41-42 
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Matthew 23: 37 
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!


During Passover, Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims from all over the world. It was a homecoming for the people of God, who gathered to sacrifice the lambs and keep the feast of the LORD’s deliverance, the very foundation of their identity as a people. 
Jerusalem itself is a cast member and so are its crowds.
The expectation of the time was that the Messiah, the Christ, would arrive in Jerusalem to take up his throne and reign, ushering in a new age of freedom from enemies, of peace, worship, joy and fruitfulness. Israel would be at last restored as the jewel of nations as the LORD of all the earth ruled through his Messiah from Jerusalem.
This beginning of Passion Week included a moment in which the crowd, representing humanity at large, had to recognize the arrival of the King. “See, the whole world has gone after him.” Even creation had a part to play as God came to set all things right. “I tell you if these were silent, the very stones would cry out!”
Yet, we see from this scene that people are easily swayed, changeable, enthusiastic in both worship and scorn. Jesus wept over the city which cheered him. He knew the history of rejecting prophets. He felt sorrow that people ran from his sheltering love like chicks scattering from their mother hen.  
So the crowds and the holy city of Jerusalem are a key character in this drama, representing both the faithfulness and the betrayal, both the sin and the belief, in the human heart. It is from these crowds on the stage of this city that the characters of Passion Week, both the courageous and the cowardly, will emerge. 


Pray aloud these passages associated with Palm Sunday from the very beginning. Allow yourself to pray as one standing in the crowd watching Jesus enter the city. Let these verses awaken the ancient longing in you for God to come at last to make all things right. 
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
Righteous and having salvation is he,
Humble and mounted on a donkey,
On a colt, the foal of a donkey . . .
And he shall speak peace to the nations;
His rule shall be from sea to sea . . .
As for you also, because of the blood of the covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope. 
(Zechariah 9: 9-11)
This is the day that the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we pray, O LORD!
O LORD, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
We bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
You are my God, I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
His steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 118: 24-29)
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20: 31).



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