My dear fellow saints,
During this Holy Week, some of the words that should challenge us most are found in CPWI Hymn #146, “Thy life was given for me”. In the 5th stanza, we find these words, “Great gifts thou broughtest me; what have I brought to thee?” In them we have the reminder that, all who are recipients of God’s gracious gifts in Jesus are expected to gratefully reciprocate with our best available gifts.
In Luke 19:28-40, we are given an account of Jesus’ approach to Jerusalem immediately prior to his crucifixion. The passage obviously presents as the primary theme the triumphal entry of Jesus into the great Jewish capital with the commitment to fulfill his Father’s will for humanity’s redemption. However, there is much that must be said about the encouragement he must have gotten from what people did to demonstrate their devotion and trust toward him.
We begin with the fact that, the owner of the donkey was only told, “The Lord needs it” and gave up his possession to be of service to the Lord. The Evangelist uses the story as evidence of Jesus’ omniscience. He knew exactly where the beast of burden was located and definitely about the willing response of the owner. And the owner, who stands as example for everyone, must have pleased him by his apparent acceptance that God has a right to all that we are and have.
This generous gift to Jesus is followed by the rejoicing and acclamation by Jesus’ disciples. In their joyful shouts, they referred to Jesus as the expected king who they anticipated would be the saviour of the people. Their sacrifice of praise would also have been beneficial to Jesus as his ominous hour approached.
Finally, with total abandonment, the disciples removed their cloaks and spread them in the way for Jesus. They honoured Jesus, not only because they treated him royally, but acted unchecked by what it would cost them and with public display that they would give all for him. How it would warm Jesus’ heart if we would all sincerely say, “Thou gavest thyself for me, I give myself to thee.”
The Very Rev. Ernest Flemming