Sunday, March 29th
Walking to Jerusalem
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The Sabbath was drawing to a close as Jesus and His disciples walked toward Jerusalem where they would celebrate Passover together. Jesus sent two of His disciples ahead to bring a colt back. He was thankful they didn’t ask a lot of questions, simply did as He asked.
Walking along disciples Jesus listened to the other remaining disciples prattle on about mundane things. These men were precious to Jesus, walking faithfully with Him for three years. Jesus knew they were looking forward to the Passover celebration, yet they had no idea what this year held in store for them. He knew the challenges ahead would test them all and ultimately be too much for some.
The group stopped briefly as the two disciples approached with the borrowed colt. Placing their cloaks on the back of the colt and seating Jesus there they continued on the road to Jerusalem. Celebration was in the air as people spread their cloaks and branches on the roads shouting, “Hosanna!”. Children waved palm branches and sang to Jesus. Many of these people were present when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, following Him since. They shouted praises to Jesus and recalled the miracles He had done, praising God. They cried, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Jesus took it all in yet He could not celebrate with them for as He looked through the crowd He also saw the unbelief. It caused Him to weep for the city of Jerusalem, knowing the time had come for His purpose on earth to be completed yet those in authority didn’t recognize Him. They exchanged the peace that comes with knowing Jesus as Lord for earthly power and recognition. Their desire was to be acknowledged by their peers more than embracing the truth that a better reward was in store for those who believed in Jesus.
Some of the Pharisees, very upset by this display, told Jesus to quiet His followers yet Jesus told them if they kept quiet the very stones would cry out. (Luke 19:40)
The procession reached the temple area in Jerusalem. Jesus looked around, saddened by what He saw. Since it was late He walked on to Bethany with His disciples for the night, preparing for the challenges of the days ahead. Jesus knew in just a few days many of the same people who were praising would desert Him. They wouldn’t understand the sacrifice He was about to make that would give them a new freedom and power that cannot be attained on earth.
As this Holy Week begins how is your heart? Will you go through the week declaring the miracles Jesus has done in your own life or will you be part of the crowd that causes Jesus to weep as He looks your way? Is the desire of your heart to serve Him and not seek the pleasures of this world and the power and pleasures of this earthly life?
It can be easy to praise God and welcome Jesus as leader of our lives when we see miracles and other good things happen. It’s also easy to turn away from Him when we don’t understand how He will bring good from a difficult situation.
As you walk through this week of remembrance and celebration, join me in allowing God to examine our hearts and intentions. Let Him erase your faults and cleanse your heart so you can cry, “Hosanna” to those around you with a sincere and joy-filled heart.
Lord, the week ahead will be filled with preparations for Easter. The culture around me doesn’t celebrate You or Your resurrection. As I begin this week cleanse my heart, Lord. Examine me and expose any areas where I need to repent. Cause me to reflect on You and express Your grace and love to those around me. May I be a light for You, showing those around me that Easter is about more than colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets filled with treasures. May I, through my words and actions show the real Easter treasure is You.