29 March, 2010

Palm Sunday

The parking lot was crowded. It seemed as though it was Easter Sunday instead of Palm Sunday. My family and our friends hurried in to get a seat. Palms lined the floor. We had to walk over them to enter into the worship area. Yes, Palm Sunday indeed.

The palms mark Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. The people honored Him as he rode past them. They took their cloaks and palm branches and lay them on the ground for his colt to walk over. They waved the branches in His honor shouting, Hosanna! Hosanna! A parade for the King of Kings who would soon be tortured, mocked, murdered and miraculously resurrected – for us. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of what many call, Holy Week. The details we read in Scripture will mark the days of this week. The familiar story told and retold.

As I read the words from Luke 19, the story of the Triumphal Entry is beautiful. But I wonder…is it beautiful because I know how it ends? Would it have been beautiful to me if I had been one among the crowed shouting, Hosanna? Would it have been beautiful to me if I had been walking behind Jesus, hearing the loud praises, tasting the dust from the road, wondering what would come next? Would I have been caught up in the parade not daring to think about next days? Would I have been laughing in joy with my brothers and sisters in the faith and not recognized that Jesus was weeping?

Yes, as He begins the descent from the mount of Olives, He wept as He saw all of Jerusalem spread out below Him. In my mind, He stopped. In this Triumphal Entry, one in which he foreknew all the coming details, He stopped, He saw all the people who did not yet know the truth and He wept. He wasn’t caught up in the praise, He wasn’t caught up in getting to the temple on time, He wasn’t hiding behind His crown, in my mind and heart, He stopped and wept for His people.

Jesus rode high that day in His Triumphal Entry. He also rode high in teaching us to weep for the world. He was not satisfied that many had come to love and accept Him, He wept for those who did not yet know His name…for God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His Son.

On Palm Sunday, as our worship music began there was no doubt the Lord was present. We sang praise to Him. We sang Hosanna! I must tell you that when my eyes were not closed in worship on Sunday morning, I looked around. I confess to you that often times as I see others in worship my heart expands in worship and none more so than on Sunday. I looked to my right and saw a precious child of God in worship. He was born in Iran and had never heard the name of Jesus until he was a young adult. His salvation is sealed in his love of our Jesus. I looked in front of me and recognized a new friend from Korea. She only learned of Jesus last year and now she loves Him so! Beside me were 4 young men from China. Two of them know and love our Saviour the other two have yet to decide.

Break our hearts, Lord for the world around us. The people who posture as though they know you, the people who have never heard of your salvation. Break my heart for Your world, Lord.

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