Posted by: Pauline | April 2, 2017

Scriptures for Sunday April 9

Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

Psalm 118 is the last of a group of six psalms known as the Egyptian Hallel. Hallel means praise, and the Jews praised God for having freed them from slavery in Egypt. This group of psalms was sung during Passover (as well as during the Feast of Tabernacles), and it is likely that Psalm 118 was the song sung by Jesus and his disciples after the Last Supper.

The Jews came with joy to Jerusalem each year to celebrate the Passover, and the verses that refer to “opening the gates of righteousness” may have been used as the people entered the gates of Jerusalem, thanking God for His salvation. Certainly the words of this psalm were on their lips as they cried “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” as Jesus entered the city, riding on a donkey.

Matthew 21:1-11

When the crowd of pilgrims from Galilee arrived at Jerusalem, they were already excited. It was probably easy to get caught up in the celebration that surrounded Jesus, as he entered the city amid shouts of “Hosanna!” and people’s hopes for him to rule as Messiah and deliver them from Roman oppression.

Most of them probably had little idea of what rule by Jesus really meant, and none of them except Jesus understood what he had to do in order to bring salvation, or that the salvation would be so much bigger than the political independence they longed for. But they praised God, and we join in praising God, even as we realize how little we often understand of His bigger purposes in our lives.

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