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“Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9, NLT)
It is the story of Palm Sunday, but perhaps it is more the story of the posture of Jesus and the response of the people.
He does not come galloping in on a white horse ready to save the day, but Jesus humbly sits on a donkey. He enters on an animal, a donkey’s colt we are told, which only has one speed – slow.
The crowd of people respond by spreading their garments on the road, waving branches and shouting.
There was so much commotion, the entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar (verse 10, NLT), and the people ask a most critical question, “Who is this?”
“Who is this?” It is the question which each of us needs to determine for ourselves.
- Who is Jesus?
- What place will He hold in my life?
Let’s go back to the story …
A few days later, Judas betrays Jesus. The various trials and examinations begin, and Jesus ends up in front of Pilate. Again, we find Jesus in the middle of a crowd, maybe even some of the same people.
Pilate looking for an out, offers the people the choice of setting free a notorious prisoner, Barabbas, or Jesus.
The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!” Pilate questions, “Why?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
The crowd continues yelling. Similar to His entry Jerusalem just days before, the crowd is again in an uproar.
Only this time, the crowd turned on Jesus. Only a few days have passed and they have changed their minds from praising and worshiping Jesus to wanting Him dead.
The question comes to me: “How I would have responded that day?”
Would I have stood my ground and yelled for Jesus to be freed? Even if I were the only one? Or would I have gotten swept up with the opinion of the crowd?
Here is what I am realizing …
We all need to have a made up mind regarding Jesus or we will be swept away by the opinions of the crowd.
We must determine who Jesus is in our life and have that nailed down in our minds, no pun intended. The only way we will not go along with the crowd is to know, from the tops of our heads to the soles of our feet, who Jesus is to us. It is only then we will stand firm, unmoved by the crowd.
For one day, this very same Jesus will indeed come galloping on a white horse and He will save the day:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” (Revelation 19:11, 16, NLT)
Father, we are thinking of Palm Sunday and how You entered Jerusalem humbly as the people spread their garments, waved their branches and proclaimed You as King. Yet their hearts turned quickly away from You as they sought to put You to death. Turn our wandering hearts towards You so we faithfully proclaim You as Lord of our lives and faithfully serve You until the day of Your return. Amen.