Looking forward to Palm Sunday

a special devotion from Lynda Lindsey looking forward to Palm Sunday

Rejoice, Shout, and See!

March 20, 2016

Luke 19:28-40

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9  

As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”  They replied, “The Lord needs it.” Luke 19:33-34

Two crowd scenes. One is jubilant, expectant, celebratory. Loud hosannahs ring. A colt, the foal of a donkey, is fetched; loaned willingly. Who wouldn’t want the honor of the King riding one’s colt? Cloaks are spread. Palm branches waved. The King is hoisted up for his inaugural procession. The multitudes go wild. Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! Messiah has come! Long live the King! Rejoice, shout, see!  

Even so, some grumbled. Some said the crowd was too noisy. But the King refused to deter His acclaim, announcing that even the stones would cry out if praise ceased. Some accused: he’s blasphemous; it’s sacrilegious; it’s downright disrespectful. Unrest simmered. Judas sold out.  One week later a mocking, angry, jeering mob demanded the Kings crucifixion. Some had second thoughts: Pilate; one of the two criminals on neighboring crosses; the centurion. Pilate succumbed to the crowd’s demands, a leader unwilling to face sanction from his superiors should tension arise. One criminal crucified with Jesus acknowledged his sin thereby gaining eternal life. The centurion praised God and admitted Jesus’ righteousness.

Falling from the heights of public acclaim to the depths of abandonment, undergoing an ersatz trial and receiving the death penalty is shameful enough for the guilty; but how appalling for the innocent! And yet. And yet. Rejoice, shout, and see; Jesus’ intention was never to be a national king who would reign and then pass from the earth. He is, was, and always will be King Eternal,  Lord of heaven and earth. The only one true and wise God, the great I AM. Savior and redeemer made possible only by the shed blood of the innocent Lamb of God, slain for the world’s sins.

Little has changed since Jesus’ triumphal entry. Many rejoice, shout, and see. But how many rejoice, shout, and see only what they want to see? Few are those that rejoice, shout, and see what really is. The danger? Replacing Jesus’ words, mission, and purpose with our own desires and wishes dilutes, if not nullifies, the good news of the gospel. We will miss the blessings of eternal life and lead others astray as well. Rejoice, shout, and see. Indeed!