I recently wrote a devotional for our church devotional booklet, and I would like to share it with you all today. While some of you attend GCC and will be reading this tomorrow (hopefully!), others won't have that opportunity... and as I wrote this I was truly overwhelmed by the thoughts that were pouring through my mind....
Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!
Amid the shouts and the fanfare, a lone rider makes his way into Jerusalem. The rider, who received a king's welcome, sits atop a small, gentle donkey. Many would believe that a king should be making his arrival on the back of a creature more regal. Yet, Jesus' entry into Jerusalem that day mirrored his arrival into the world some 33 years earlier.
With shouts of acclamation, the crowd ushered their Messiah into Jerusalem for a week that would change the course of history... change the course of the world. The crowd, in their excitement over all of the miracles Jesus had performed, laid palm branches upon the dusty road. Many removed their cloaks and laid them on the ground as well. The crowd was elated; they couldn't contain their excitement... Jesus was in their midst.
The Pharisees were among those in the crowd that day, and they chastised Jesus, telling him to rebuke his disciples. Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!" The joy of the crowd was too much to contain that day... just as their hatred would be too much to contain as Christ was crucified.
I can't help but wonder how Jesus must have looked as he rode into Jerusalem. Did anyone catch a glimpse of the sadness that must have surrounded him? Did his eyes mist over as he thought of the pain he would soon endure? Did his smile falter as he played over the events that were soon to come? Did he flinch as a palm branch lightly grazed his arm, anticipating the flick of a whip? Did his heart break as he remembered that the shouts of "Hosanna" that welcomed him that day would give way to shouts of "Crucify him.. Crucify him!"
I am sure that if his mind wandered over the events to come, he shook himself gently and turned his fears over to his Father. Knowing that time was running short, and there was still work to be done, I can imagine that he sat up a little taller on the back of the gentle donkey who carefully carried its rider. I believe that as he passed by the crowd that day he looked into the eyes of those crowding along the roadside and repeated over and over to himself... "I do this for you... and you... and you... and you!"
Hosanna, blessed his He who came to take away the sins of the world....
Happy Holy Week... may God bless you all!!