March 20, 2016

Meekness and Majesty

Mark 11:1-11

Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom. . . .

—  Mark 11:9-10

Maybe you have heard or sung the song with this refrain: “Oh, what a mystery—meekness and majesty; bow down and worship, for this is your God!” What an appropriate song to sing during Lent—and especially on Palm Sunday.

On the holy day that Christians call Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding the colt of a donkey. The Old Testament prophet Zechariah (9:9) had said Israel’s king would come in just that way. He rode in to shouts of “Hosanna!”—meaning “Lord, save us!” The crowds took their salvation cry from Psalm 118:25-26. They hoped that their promised Messiah had finally come to overthrow the Romans and renew their kingdom.

Majesty was on display on Palm Sunday. The King of Israel had come, fulfilling the Scriptures.

But there must have been some confusion that day as well. Instead of riding a powerful warhorse, as military leaders did, Jesus rode on a donkey. To some, this must have seemed like a joke. Later in the week, many saw Jesus’ kingship that way as cheers turned to jeers and people cried, “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:13). The crowds wanted a king, but not a meek one. For too many, meek meant weak.

As you worship today, remember that Jesus is the King who is worthy of our worship because he is also the humble Servant who gave his life for us.

Jesus, you are our King and our Servant. May we see your glory not only at your triumphal entry but also in your crucifixion. We love you, Lord. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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