40 Days to the Cross: A Devotional for Lent
Confession: Psalm 32:1–5
Happy is he whose transgression is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Happy is a person to whom Yahweh does not impute iniquity
and in whose spirit there is not deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones were worn out
due to my groaning all the day.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me.
My vigor was changed into the dry heat of summer. Selah
I made known my sin to you, and my iniquity I did not cover.
I said, “I will confess concerning my transgressions to Yahweh,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin. Selah
Reading: Mark 11:1–11
And when they came near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village before you, and right away as you enter into it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say ‘The Lord has need of it, and will send it here again at once.’ ” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those who were standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” So they told them, just as Jesus had said, and they allowed them to take it. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, and he sat on it. And many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches they had cut from the fields. And those who went ahead and those who were following were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
And he went into Jerusalem to the temple, and after looking around at everything, because the hour was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Consider the great virtues Christ showed us by His human nature in this procession: While He was supreme and rich and powerful above all—as the true Son of God according to the divinity—He did not display the excellence of His majesty before the people by worldly pomp. But with much humility and meekness [He] approached the city, rebellious against Him. This is our king, whom John Baptist proclaimed as the lamb, that was to come into the world: Who for the salvation of the human race drew near to the place of suffering to accomplish the work of our redemption, as it had been revealed to the holy patriarchs and prophets.
He did not turn aside from the face of His enemies, nor dread the holy place because of the malice of the people. Yet, with the greatest charity and compassion, [He] approached the envious and enraged to calm their passions. Moreover, for their coming excesses and evil deeds, He mourned and wept.
—THOMAS À KEMPIS
A MEDITATION ON THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST
The people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus into the city with shouts and praise because they believed He was going to be a political savior. Do you turn to God only in times of personal crisis or when you need something from Him?