Palm Sunday: The Triumphant Entry

“The Bridegroom Will Be Coming”

Palm Sunday

Watchword for the week — Jesus said, “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62

Sunday, March 28 — Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11

Deliverance belongs to the Lord; may your blessing be on your people! Psalm 3:8

To you before your passion

they sang their hymns of praise;

to you, now high exalted,

our melody we raise.

As you received their praises,

accept the prayers we bring,

for you delight in goodness,

O good and gracious King! (342)

Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. Matthew 9:35

His is no earthly kingdom;

it comes from heav’n above.

His rule is peace and freedom

and justice, truth, and love.

So let your praise be sounding

for kindness so abounding:

Hosanna to the Lord

for he fulfills God’s word! (344*)

Lord Jesus, on this Palm Sunday, we greet you with anthems sweet. Like the crowd, we welcome you with great anticipations. We walk with you this Holy Week to the cross and garden tomb, knowing that Easter Sunday is coming! Amen

(Courtesy: Moravian Daily Texts 2021)


Scripture Read & Listen

Listen here: Psalm 31 by Tinasha LaRaye

Psalm 31

The Lord a Fortress in Adversity

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

In You, O Lord, I [a]put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of [b]refuge,
A [c]fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in [d]adversities,
And have not shut[e] me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my [f]body!
10 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
11 I am a [g]reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a [h]broken vessel.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
17 Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a [i]pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a [j]strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.


Art Study for the Week

Palm Sunday Russian Orthodox Iconography

The Triumphal Entry (John 12:12-19)

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

Commentary

The difference between John’s account of the entry into Jerusalem and those of the Synoptic Gospels is very characteristic. His is much briefer, but it brings the essentials out clearly, and is particular in showing its place as a link in the chain that drew on the final catastrophe, and in noting its effect on various classes.

‘The next day’ in John 12:12 was probably the Sunday before the crucifixion. To understand the events of that day we must try to realise how rapidly, and, as the rulers thought, dangerously, excitement was rising among the crowds who had come up for the Passover, and who had heard of the raising of Lazarus. The Passover was always a time when national feeling was ready to blaze up, and any spark might light the fire. It looked as if Lazarus were going to be the match this time, and so, on the Saturday, the rulers had made up their minds to have him put out of the way in order to stop the current that was setting in, of acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah.

They had already made up their minds to dispose of Jesus, and now, with cynical contempt for justice, they determined to ‘put Lazarus also to death.’ So there were to be two men who were to ‘die for the people.’ Keeping all this wave of popular feeling in view, it might have been expected that Jesus would, as hitherto, have escaped into privacy, or discouraged the offered homage of a crowd whose Messianic ideal was so different from His.

John is mainly concerned in bringing out two points in his version of the incident. First, he tells us what we should not have gathered from the other Evangelists, that the triumphal procession began in Jerusalem, not in Bethany. It was the direct result of the ebullition of enthusiasm occasioned by the raising of Lazarus. The course of events seems to have been that ‘the common people of the Jews’ came streaming out to Bethany on the Sunday to gape and gaze at the risen man and Him who had raised him, that they and some of those who had been present at the raising went back to the city and carried thither the intelligence that Jesus was coming in from Bethany next day, and that then the procession to meet Him was organised.

The meaning of the popular demonstration was plain, both from the palm branches, signs of victory and rejoicing, and from the chant, which is in part taken from Psalm 118:1 – Psalm 118:29. The Messianic application of that quotation is made unmistakable by the addition, ‘even the King of Israel.’ In the Psalm, ‘he that cometh in the name of Jehovah,’ means the worshipper drawing near to the Temple, but the added words divert the expression to Jesus, hail Him as the King, and invoke Him as ‘Saviour.’ Little did that shouting crowd understand what sort of a Saviour He was. Deliverance from Rome was what they were thinking of. (McClaren’s Expositions)

Iconography

“Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” These are the words that people shouted, waving palm branches as Christ entered Jerusalem on a donkey. Today, all Christians commemorate this event by celebrating the great feast of Palm Sunday. The iconography of the feast conveys nearly all its details. However, in the Palm Sunday icon, one can find not only a retelling of the event but also its profound meaning.

The Palm Sunday icon, which is known as Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem, depicts the events described in the scriptures in detail. Jesus Christ sitting on a donkey is depicted in the center. He is on His way to Jerusalem. One can see a halo over His head and a scroll in His hands, which symbolizes His Holy Wisdom. Sometimes, Jesus is depicted sitting on a horse, not a donkey. This makes sense because the horse is one of the pagan symbols, which signifies the coming of the Son of God not only to Christians but also to all nations.

The city of Jerusalem is to the right of Christ, and the Mount of Olives is to the left. The Savior is followed by His apostles. His head is slightly turned to the side as if showing the right way to the disciples. People greet Christ with palm branches, covering the road before the Messiah with their clothes.

The Palm Sunday icon is very important to all Orthodox Christian believers, as it is dedicated to one of the Twelve Great Feasts that are the major celebrations of the liturgical year.

Source: Russian Icon


Hymns & Praises

Hymn: “Man of Sorrows
(Original Lyrics) Author: P. P. Bliss (1875)

1 Man of sorrows what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

2 Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

3 Guilty, helpless, lost were we;
blameless Lamb of God was he,
sacrificed to set us free:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

4 He was lifted up to die;
“It is finished” was his cry;
now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

5 When he comes, our glorious King,
all his ransomed home to bring,
then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!


Closing Prayer

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Cause us to lie down, O Eternal! in peace, and cause us to rise up, O our King! unto life; spread over us the tabernacle of thy peace, and guide us aright with good counsel from before thee, aiding us for the sake of thy name; shield us and remove from us foes and pestilence, the sword, famine and sorrow, and remove every hindrance in our van as in our rear, and with the shadow of thy wings do thou shelter us, for thou, Almighty! art our Preserver and Deliverer. For an Almighty King, gracious and compassionate, art thou. Do thou then guard our going out and our coming in for life and peace, henceforth and for evermore.

In the Holy Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

Matthew 6:9b-13; Siddur Avodat Israel (p.441)