Daily Devotional “Palm Wednesday”

Daily Devotional
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June 8, 2022

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They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted.

Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome.

Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out,

“Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!” Matthew 21:7-9, The Message

Shouting their joyful hosannas, the people were caught up in the expectation of Jesus as the coming King.

This—at last!—was the one who would throw the Roman oppressor out of the Holy City.

He would release them from the terrible burden of taxes. He would feed them, provide for and protect them, and give them national dignity once again.

As the week wore on, however, the mood of the crowd changed.

Why wasn’t the Nazarene making his move? Sure, he continued to heal and teach in the temple. But he remained aloof and reclusive, retreating to a nearby village every night, spending time with his disciples outside the city walls.

When was he going to do something? When was he going to muscle in and take control? Why wasn’t he spending time with the “right” people—the savvy political types who got things done?

Little wonder the people’s mindset soured by midweek. “Maybe this Man’s not all he’s cracked up to be,” they may have reasoned. “Maybe he’s been pulling the wool over our eyes all this time. He’s probably powerless to do any real good around here.”

The rest is history. The crowds turned on him and screamed for his crucifixion—not more than a week after they had celebrated his entry into the city.

Sometimes I wonder…. Are we all that different from those people?

When expectations are running bank high, when we think we’ve got God’s plan neatly figured, when we’ve convinced ourselves that the King’s job is to make our lives easier, relieve our burdens, and take away our everyday pressures, don’t you think our praises may sound a bit empty?

Hosanna! Praise to the King! Hand me a palm branch.

But what happens when the shouts and excitement of Palm Sunday fade into Blue Monday? What happens when we hit mid-week and all our plans have and anticipations have blown away like smoke in the wind? Can we still sing our hosannas? Or do we turn on God in bitterness or resentment because he didn’t “follow through” on our list of expectations?

Let’s be sure we give Jesus Praise for who he is and what he does.

Not for what who we think he ought to be and what we imagine he ought to do.

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18, NLT
Please pray with me: O Lord, am I a fair-weather friend to you? I’m so ready to sing your praises when my life overflows with blessings. I’m eager to grab the palm branch and shout “Hosanna” when everything has been going my way.

But what about those long, weary “Palm Wednesdays”? What’s in my heart, what’s in my mouth, when life takes a sudden downturn…when sickness sidelines me…when my friends turn cold…when my spouse is too busy to spend time with me and I feel unloved…when others are promoted all around me and I’m left at the back of the pack?

Am I as eager to praise you and declare your worth then? O Lord, so kind and good and wise, may my Hosannas ring out to you every day of my life.

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