International Sunday School Lesson
For Week Ending April 17, 2011
Purpose: To consider what or whom elicits our extravagant praise and why
Scripture Text: Mark 11:1-11 (NRSV)
(1)When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples (2)and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. (3)If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” (4)They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, (5) some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” (6)They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. (7)Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it.(8)Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. (9)Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! (10) Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (11)Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This passage of scripture is often highlighted or subtitled in some bibles as “Jesus Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem.” Let me say that it more properly might just state “Jesus entry into Jerusalem.” Jesus has a “Triumphant Exit” from Jerusalem and the grave, but the entry is rather humbling, sitting on a borrowed colt, no “red carpet” entry, just palm branches and old coats and cloaks. A rather hollow entry when we know what will transpire during this coming week. And looking back knowing this was “God with us,” would this small band of followers that would soon turn against Him, be part of anything called “triumphant.” In the next four days this turns into the deepest hurt and agony known to mankind. The triumphant event is yet to come, Jesus triumphing over death and the grave and willingly accepting the cruelty of the cross, which should make us all shout “Hosanna.”
The events of the week when read in a synoptic setting go like this:
Saturday: After sundown, Jesus is anointed at Bethany, in the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, six days before the Passover. (John 12:1-8) There is a plot to kill Lazarus by the chief priest. (John 12:9-11)
Sunday: This is the entry into Jerusalem on a borrowed colt. (Recorded in Luke 19, John 12, Mark 11, Matthew. 21)
Monday: Monday is the morning walk to Jerusalem, and the cleansing of the Temple.
Tuesday: Again a morning walk to Jerusalem, and a very busy day. Christ’s authority is challenged by the Jewish leaders. Then the three parables of warning found in Matthew 21:28 – 22:14; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19. Next is a barrage of questions from the enemies of Christ. Tuesday continues with Christ pronouncing eight woes against the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-47) Christ then watches as offerings are given, and entertains visiting Greeks. (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4; John 1220-50). Jesus then delivers His Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24,25; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38. Jesus then ends the evening by telling the exact time of His Crucifixion. (Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14:1, 2, 10, 11; Luke 22:1-6. Tuesday night is spent with the disciples at the Mount of Olives. (Luke 21:37-38).
Wednesday: We have no record of what happened on Wednesday of Passion Week.
Thursday: Thursday is pretty well known with the preparation for the Passover meal, the meal, and the betrayal, all of which are recorded in the four Gospels.(Matthew 26:17-46; Mark 14:12-42; Luke 22:7-46; John 13:1-38 & 14,16, 17, 18:1)
All of the above brings us to through the agony of Gethsemane, and into Friday very early in the morning. My hope is that after you read all that happened the first five days, your hearts are ready to embrace and understand what becomes the Triumphant Exit from Jerusalem come Sunday morning.
Imagine leaving everything behind in heaven, and willingly accepting what was about to happen. Jesus said it best, “greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend.” What a Friend we have in Jesus.