On a recent pilgrimage to Israel, our group made a brief stop in a small village that left a lasting impression.
The town of Bethphage is located near the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem. Today a church commemorates the place where Jesus began His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and where He met Martha of Bethany after the death of her brother Lazarus.
I loved this special place because of the beautiful and quiet setting, and also because Martha has always been one of my favorite women of the Bible. I so relate to her focus on serving others.
A colorful fresco painting behind the altar of the church in Bethphage depicts the joyous processional of Jesus, and other paintings around the church portray His followers. I love the painting of Martha with her sister Mary of Bethany. The artwork is a profound expression of how the early Christians celebrated the Promised King, and is a reminder to Christians today to focus on the fulfillment of those biblical promises, especially as we observe Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
All four Gospels include an account of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19). They incorporate the Messianic promises in the Old Testament and record details of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Your time would be well-spent reading those passages in anticipation of Easter Sunday. Three themes emerge from these Scriptures offering instruction to Christians today: Prepare for the Savior, Proclaim the message of salvation, and Praise the King of Kings.
Jesus gave specific instructions to His disciples to find a donkey and a colt for Him to ride into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:2-3). Jesus was prepared, and He taught His followers to be prepared. He told them where to find the animal and what to say to the owners. Jesus knew every detail of His future and wanted to include believers in His journey.
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Source: Baptist Press