As we move into Easter Week we’re going to leap ahead in Mark and spend time in selections from his telling of Jesus’ passion. Look out for bonus notes on extra days such as these! We will also return to the choice of guilt free ‘Quick Snacks’ or ‘Three Course Meals’ over this special period.

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Quick Snack
…‘Hosanna!’
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’
‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ (Mark 11:9-10)
Our King is coming, the bringer of peace and salvation. How shall we greet him today? How will you greet him today?

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Three Course Meal
Reading: Mark 11:1-11
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, “Why are you doing this?” say, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.”’

4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, ‘What are you doing, untying that colt?’ 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

‘Hosanna!’
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’
‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Thought:
Zechariah had prophesied that one day God’s chosen King would ride into Jerusalem on a colt, bringing judgement against their enemies and at last peace (Zechariah 9:9) and in acting out this prophecy Jesus is claiming very publicly that this is him. The crowds that gather recognize this claim and respond appropriately, forming the First Century equivalent of a red carpet of their cloaks and singing a ‘national anthem’. Other Gospels tell of their waving flags too – palm branches – to greet him. So what do they expect of Jesus? Read the words to their song carefully and you’ll see that they believe he will defeat their enemies and save them – that is exactly what ‘hosanna’ means. These are big claims accompanying a big welcome. The amazing thing is that they haven’t seen the half of it yet – what King Jesus will achieve is beyond their wildest dreams!

Prayer
If Jesus really is our coming King, and big claims are small compared to what he has and will achieve, how should we greet him? Take some time to respond in prayer.

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