Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29: Hosanna! Blessed be the King!

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him. They began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Do not be afraid, people of Zion; look, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt!” (His disciples did not understand these things when they first happened, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that these things had happened to him.) So the crowd who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were continuing to testify about it. Because they had heard that Jesus had performed this miraculous sign, the crowd went out to meet him.  (John 12:12-18  NET)

Jesus was given the reception He deserved as He went into Jerusalem on what is usually called “Palm Sunday.” There was great excitement as He entered the city; the people were praising Him as the Messiah or Christ—God's anointed king. Many of the people were there because they had heard about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

Less than five days later the crowds who had been shouting “hosanna to the King,” were now shouting, “Crucify Him!” He had been arrested at night, tried in secret, and put on the cross about 9 o'clock in the morning. Most people in Jerusalem were totally unaware of what was going on until it was too late. But Jesus arose from the dead, victorious, and glorious. His resurrection proved that He was truly the King of Israel and the King of the universe.

We can’t be impressed with mere words, even the emotional words of others who swear their loyalty to God.  A moving testimony or proclamation of great faith doesn’t necessarily mean that they truly love and serve God.  Loyalties based on emotion are easily swayed and can crumble away to nothing, just like those who shouted their hosannas to Jesus.  Even the disciples faltered and fled when He was crucified, and the significance of His entry into Jerusalem was lost on their fleshly minds. True faithfulness is found when there is a life of continued sacrifice.  When we sacrifice our pride, our selfishness, our possessions and surrender the control of our lives to God, we become empowered with His Spirit—an experience the disciples had weeks later that continues to change the world until today.  

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