“…Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:10)




sunday of the passion (Palm sunday)

Sermon Starter

When Jesus sends His disciples to untie and retrieve a donkey that is not theirs He tells them that they may get asked why they are doing this. He gives them a simple response and it does the trick: they are to say, “The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.”

I wonder if the disciples asked Jesus, “Why are You doing this?”, when He asked them to get a donkey. There’s no indication given that they thought this unusual. The plan for Him to ride into Jerusalem on that donkey seemed to accomplish what He set out to do. The crowds seemed to know what was going on, what with their putting their coats and branches on the ground. What with their quoting Scripture and their praises of this one coming in the name of the Lord.

It doesn’t appear that they were asking Jesus why He was doing this. They seemed to know. But the Scriptures tell us they didn’t know; at least, they didn’t fully comprehend who Jesus was and why He was coming into Jerusalem. The Scriptures tell us the disciples didn’t even know. The religious leaders certainly didn’t know. Who knows, maybe the people who owned the donkey did know. There was a reason they had that donkey upon which no one had ever sat. But everyone else didn’t know.

What about you and me? Do we know? Why was Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey? Why was Jesus even in a position to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey? That is, Jesus being God, how was God in a situation in which He was riding into Jerusalem on a donkey? That He would show us that He was a man. We know this of course. We’re Christians. We believe Jesus is a man. We believe also that He is God. That He is God and that He is a man shows us something that is at the heart of who He is. We might take a cue from those who asked the disciples why they were untying the donkey and ask Jesus, Why are you doing this?

Why did You become a man? Why were You born? Why, since You were, were You born in such remarkable circumstances; that is, in such a lowly fashion? Why did You confine Yourself in Your life here on earth to such a small area of the globe? Why, in the same fashion, did You confine Your life here on earth to such a small period of time; namely, about thirty years, and only about three of those in actual ministry? And toward the end of those three years, why did You ride into Jerusalem on that donkey?

Collect of the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.