Matthew 21:9 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!”
This was bound to have been bittersweet for Jesus. He was finally getting the recognition and acceptance that were rightfully His, yet He knew that it would be fleeting, with only a few days until He would undergo unspeakable suffering. During that interval He wept over Jerusalem, saying they would see Him again only when they would again welcome Him as they did here. (Matthew 23:37-39) That said, I’m sure He did rejoice over those whose welcome of Him was genuine. That was only a fraction of the total, because the majority were looking for a physical, military and material Savior who would get them out from under the Roman thumb and perhaps feed them miraculously, as He had done on two occasions, but I’m sure there were some. They too had quite a roller coaster ride ahead of them, but I’m sure they were included on the day of Pentecost, either among the 120 in the upper room or in the 3000 that were added later that day. Our lives on this earth have a lot of ups and downs, and we aren’t to be surprised at that. Jesus reminded His disciples of that fact as they were on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before He would be scourged and crucified. (John 16:33) Knowing that rough times are coming shouldn’t rob of us of the joy of the moment. We see this in the laughter of those who know they have a terminal disease. Laughter might not come easily for them, but it is very possible. Actually, we are all in their shoes, because none of us knows when or how we will leave this life, just that it will happen. The point is that we are to believe and trust God’s promises of what lies beyond all of that, just as Jesus did. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) That way we can enjoy the high spots and get through the low ones, whatever they might be.
Just yesterday I was talking with a young man in the church about Cathy’s health problems, and how she has such a list of them. She practices what I’ve just written to a remarkable degree, and is an inspiration to many because of it. However, what I was talking about was how more than one of those problems could be terminal for her at any point, and I have received prophecy on three separate occasions that she would precede me. Since she’s already been to heaven and come back once, I know that it would be unfair of me to pray for her return when she goes again. Thinking about that can be pretty depressing! However, such depression is a trick of the devil to rob me of the joys of the moment, and there are a lot of those. I am never to dread what might or might not happen, because that is yielding to the devil. Rather, I am to rejoice in God’s salvation, whatever I am experiencing at the moment. I am to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn,” (Romans 12:15) pointing everyone to Christ who makes it all more than worthwhile.
Father, thank You for Passion Week. Thank You for the service that is planned for today, and for the opportunity to tell that story. I ask for Your anointing so that it will be fresh even for those who are most familiar with it, and illuminating for those who aren’t so familiar with it. I pray that it would bring some to repentance and faith who have been hanging back to this point. May we all rejoice in Your incredible grace that dictated the events of Passion week and renew our commitment to follow You in total obedience, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!