April 2 – Holy Week Devotionals – The Arrival of the King

Palm Sunday. The Arrival of the King.

Read John 12:12-19


There’s an excitement in it. As a kid, we were all excited on Christmas Eve for the arrival of Christmas Day the next morning.  I remember lying awake in my bed, staring at the ceiling wondering what was under the tree for me, or imagining how my parents would react to what I had gotten them.

In school, you anticipate graduation. In sports, you anticipate the big game.

Some sort of emotion is usually attached to anticipation. When we anticipate good things, we are filled with joy and happiness. When we anticipate bad things, we are burdened with feelings of sadness or discouragement.

Palm Sunday was filled with anticipation.  The good kind… with all the “feels” that come with it.

Jesus’ popularity had peaked. Word about Him raising Lazarus from the dead had gone viral. There was a crowd already awaiting Him in Jerusalem. And then there was another crowd.  This one came with Him from Bethany – all converging on Jerusalem.

The crushing crowd was hailing the arrival of their king.  They were anticipating the one who would deliver them, although not in the way they were thinking.

Now, we could choose to reflect on several observations here.  But let’s focus on one in particular: Emotions.

In their anticipation, the crowd was carried away and joyous, maybe even in a frenzy – think the Browns’ Dog Pound, without the splashing beer and dog masks.  The disciples were perplexed. And the Pharisees were… well… angry. (They always seemed to be having a bad day when Jesus was around.)

Since you’re familiar with the story, you’ll remember that the crowd’s emotions quickly changed. They celebrated His arrival at the beginning of the week but shouted for His crucifixion at the end of the week. 

Emotions are both precarious and powerful. Sure, they’re not a good foundation for faith, but they should be stirred by our faith. There should be something moving about the Son of God dying for my sin. Rescuing me from damnation. Including me, undeservedly, in His glorious, redemptive mission.

Your Turn

Take some time to think about it. Maybe even journal a little about it. Where are you on the emotions scale? Do you tend to be led by them or cut off from them? Do they lead what you believe or what you do or how you go about what you do? Or have you left them in the dust?

You can see where this is going… or maybe you feel it coming. Are there times when your emotions have overshadowed truth and sent you spiraling in doubt, despair, discouragement, disappointment? Lethargy, laziness, laissez-faire? What are your triggers?  Is there a pattern? On the other hand, do the life-altering truths about Jesus and your redemption shake the epicenter of your heart and stir you to greater joy, celebration in worship, and compassion toward others? Journal some thoughts about where you think you should be and some adjustments you need to make.

*If you like to download a hard copy of these devotionals click here to download.

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