Holy Week happenings: Palm Sunday
In this season of physical distancing, we are unable to be together in our worshiping communities. To that end, I've decided to share with you a Bible study I wrote in 2012 for the staff of a hospital where I served as chaplain. It is my hope that we can join together from our separate places and engage in personal and communal growth. Leave comments here or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Gather loved ones in your home or schedule a virtual gathering to discussing your findings.
For now, grab your Bible, a journal/notebook/scrap paper, and a favorite pen; open yourself to what God might be wanting to teach you today.
Holy Week Happenings: Focusing on Jesus’ Last Days on Earth
Palm Sunday: Mark 11:1-19
1. Since Jesus was raised in Jewish family that observed all of the prescribed festivals, we can assume this trip to Jerusalem for the Passover was something he had done each year of his life. Read Exodus 12, specifically 24-28.
a. Why was this time so significant for all of the people there?
b. Knowing how the week will end for Jesus, why was this particular Passover celebration so significant?
2. Read Mark 11:7-11.
a. Describe the scene: people, elements, energy, etc.
b. Other than the obvious journey for Passover, why was Jesus entering Jerusalem in this way? Does this, in some way, continue the message begun at his birth? How?
M.J. Borg and J.D. Crossan wrote a book titled The Last Week which chronicles each day of Jesus’ last week on earth, based on the Gospel of Mark. Their perspective on Palm Sunday is that while Jesus entered Jerusalem from one side of the city, Pontius Pilate (Roman governor) was entering from the other side in a much different way. His entrance was comprised of just about every royal thing you can imagine. It was a clash of two powers: one upholding political and religious domination and the other proclaiming freedom from oppression…the kingdom of Rome versus the Kingdom of God.