Denise Day Spencer

March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday meditation

Filed under: Devotional Life — denisedayspencer @ 4:33 pm

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday.

I’ve seen the scene acted out in plays and films. Jesus, meek and mild, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. People everywhere, lining the streets to shout “Hosanna!” and honor him as king. You’ve probably seen it, too. Think back. In the scenes you’ve watched, was he smiling?

You see, I’ve been wondering today if he smiled. I’ve been wondering what he felt, what he thought as he swayed with the rhythm of his humble steed and surveyed the crowd. They swayed, too, palm branches in hand. I’m sure they were smiling. It’s Jesus I’m wondering about.

As his gaze took in the joyous faces and his ears feasted on the chorus of, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” did he think for at least one moment, “Maybe this is it?” We know that a few days later Jesus would be kneeling in Gethsemane, sweating blood and praying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” At that point he was thinking–or at least hoping–there might still be another way.

So what about that day on the donkey? Did he know how quickly the worshiping  throng would become a bloodthirsty mob? Did he bask in the praises and wonder for only a second if perhaps the Father had surprised him with a wildly fantastic change of plans? If so, he might have dared to smile…until a cloud passed over the sun and a shadow crossed his heart and he remembered why he had come.

May we, too, remember why he came as we celebrate Palm Sunday.



  1. […] Denise Day Spencer, maintains her own blog and you should add it to your regular reading list. Here is today’s post on Palm Sunday. She has a large collection of original Creative Ministries skits for Holy Week and Christmas, as […]

    Pingback by » Blog Archive » Denise’s Blog and other notes — March 16, 2008 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  2. Denise,

    One does wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind as He rode towards His fate.

    Being fully man He might have had some hope that there could be another way. But being fully aware of the prophecies from scripture and His own awareness of who He was, He probably knew there was no way out.

    It is truly mind boggling when you think of the great love that He must have for us. To subject Himself willingly to the kind of treatment that not only His persecutors and murders gave to Him back then, but to put up with virtually the same treatment from us today…only to say, “I love you, you are forgiven.”

    He is truly an awesome God!

    Thanks Denise.

    – Steve

    Comment by theoldadam — March 17, 2008 @ 12:54 am | Reply

  3. Denise,

    My guess is he wasn’t really smiling since the scriptures say that he wept over Jerusalem because they did not recognize this day, the day of their visitation. He also quotes from Habakkuk 2:11 when he mentions the stones crying out. If you read that passage in it’s context you don’t get a very cheery view.

    Just my thoughts,

    Comment by Dan — March 17, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  4. Hi Denise,

    You have some great resources here. Thank you.

    Coincidentally, I blogged yesterday on how “the worshiping throng would become a bloodthirsty mob.” In short. They didn’t. The trial was held at night and early morning to avoid the worshiping throng who were camped outside the city. You can read about it at:


    Comment by Mike Bell — March 17, 2008 @ 2:25 pm | Reply

  5. When I was a child, I had a little book of Bible stories. The passage which described Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem had an illustration of Jesus riding the donkey, looking very sad and troubled, while the people around him, oblivious to his expression, are caught up in their own emotions.

    I wonder how often that’s true, even today. When we “pray,” we get so caught up in *our own* emotions instead of directing our attention to the Lord and listening to what He has to say to us.

    Comment by rowie — March 18, 2008 @ 5:47 am | Reply

  6. Thank you for everything. Very useful

    Comment by โหลดเพลงใหม่ฟรี — January 19, 2010 @ 5:49 am | Reply

  7. The best information but i like

    Comment by โหลดเพลงฟรี — March 7, 2010 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  8. I recall the scripture that says, “Jesus resolutely turned his face towards Jerusalem”… which makes me want to dig in and discover the deeper meaning of this. Thank you for your turning our hearts towards our Saviour’s heart.

    Comment by buddybreathing — March 29, 2010 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  9. Thanks Denise very inspiring. God bless you

    Comment by Rev Flem — April 17, 2011 @ 1:52 am | Reply

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