Title: Lay Your Cloak Before Him
Theme: The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday,
Object: Palm Branches and a long piece of fabric to be worn like a cloak.
Scripture: A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Matthew 21:8 (NIV)
When I was a the age of most of you, I liked to read comic books. My favorites were the ones about superheroes like Superman, Superwoman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. One thing that many of these super heroes had in common was that they wore a cape. I used to enjoy pretending that I was Superman. I would tie a cape around my neck and run around the yard with my arms outstretched, pretending that I was flying through the air. Have you ever done that?
In the day when Jesus lived, many people wore a garment called a cloak. It was a loose outer garment similar to the cape that the super heroes wore. It provided them protection against the harsh winds and blowing sand in the desert. It also provided protection from the hot desert sun. In our Bible lesson today, we will see a very unusual way the people used their cloaks.
Jesus and his disciples were walking toward Jerusalem and had stopped near a small village called Bethphage. Jesus sent two of his disciples to go on ahead into the village. He told them that when they got there, they would find a donkey and her colt which they were to bring back to him. Of course the disciples were a bit concerned because they imagined that these animals might belong to someone who might not appreciate having their animals taken. Jesus simply told them, “Tell them that the Lord needs them and they will let you have them.” So the disciples went into town and sure enough, there was a donkey and her colt. They grabbed them and as they were leaving, someone asked why they were taking the animals. They answered, “It is for the Lord.” And the people let them take them just as Jesus had said they would. When they arrived back at the camp, the disciples took their cloaks and put them on the donkey to make a nice soft seat for Jesus. Jesus got on the donkey and headed toward Jerusalem.
When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, a very large crowd gathered to welcome him. Some of them spread their cloaks on the road for Jesus to ride on, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Why would they do that? They were treating Jesus like a king!
The Bible tells us that the crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The people greeted Jesus as a King that day. Today, Jesus wants to be your King — and he will be if you will allow him to come into your heart and rule over your life. Lay down your cloak to greet your King as he comes to you in love.
Jesus, come into our lives and create in us a new heart. May we excitedly welcome you just as those that awaited your arrival in Jerusalem did. Thank you for being here with us. We praise you Lord! Amen.