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Thoughts inspired by Palm Sunday
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Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Just to remind you, Palm Sunday celebrates the day that Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem to great fanfare and a wonderful reception. The people lined the streets to welcome the Lord. They threw their coats and palm branches on the ground before Him, providing a sort of “red carpet” for His entrance.
We all know that this celebration did not last very long. In fact, Palm Sunday was the first day in the last week of the Lord’s life, prior to His resurrection. On Monday morning Jesus entered the temple and cleared it out as He declared boldly to all who would listen, “My Father’s house will be a house of prayer for all people.”
By Thursday Jesus would gather with His disciples for their last supper together, and He predicted His own betrayal and death once again. But He also tried to encourage His followers, and to strengthen them for the difficult day that lay ahead.
Soon after dinner was over, Jesus was betrayed by Judas, and arrested by the Roman soldiers. It would only be a matter of hours before the Lord was taken and crucified, undoubtedly the cruelest form of punishment and execution ever devised by men for men.
The entire week must have gone by like a whirlwind for the followers of Jesus. Can you imagine the peaks and valleys of emotion that they faced? On Palm Sunday they were so proud to be with Jesus. They must have been thrilled by the way the crowds treated Him. But on Monday they once again wondered why Jesus did some of the things He did. Just the day before He was at the height of His popularity, but now He was doing something that could only get Him in trouble.
And Thursday once again was a mixed bag for the disciples. The intimacy of dinner that night was amazing. But the arrest and the events to follow were as frightening as anything they had ever faced. They failed the test of loyalty on that night. According to the Bible they scattered like scared rats. For the most part they watched from a distance as they sought to preserve their own lives.
But in just a short time their lives would be forever changed. After His death and resurrection, Jesus met with these men a nd made it clear that He loved and forgave them. He gave them a second chance.
Aren’t you glad that God gives us second chances? And sometimes third, fourth, and so on chances. He challenges us to live holy lives. He does not want us to fail. But when we inevitably mess up, the Lord calls us back to Himself. As we approach this most holy of weeks, may I encourage you to return to the Lord. He waits for you. Will you come to Him?

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