For any of us that have spent any time in church, or better yet, seen at least one of the many Jesus movies on TV- perhaps Passion of the Christ on DVD? – know a little something about Palm Sunday, whether you know that’s what its called or not. It was when the people of Jerusalem and its nearby suburbs came out in droves to lay their cloaks – or palm tree leaves – out so that Jesus may cross over them, in a gesture of respect and honor, during His last week as a man on earth. Though they did not know that then.
Well, back up a day or maybe a little less than 24 hrs, to where John begins these passages. Jesus was just outside Jerusalem. He rode on a donkey towards the city as the villagers and Passover visitors ran to greet Him. They didn’t realize it then, but this gesture, Jesus on a donkey, fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy about the chosen Messiah. Looking back, the people were like, “Oh yea! That’s right. Duh.” Jesus had made another OT prediction come true. Just rackin’ ‘em up!
So there was Jesus, palm leaves and cloaks padded his path on the way into Jerusalem. The people shouted “Hosanna!” which meant “Save me” or “save us.”(Learned that in church this past Sunday. Yay for learning!)
The people who had seen Him do miracles, the ones who had seen Him raise Lazarus from the dead, walked with Him. Others ran out into the city to tell of Jesus’ arrival. Many thought He was there to be king of Israel. To lead them back to glory. To create a new kingdom so that they may bask in it.
Little did they realize, the Kingdom was already built. Heaven, hello. Been there since time started up. Jesus was amongst them to make sure that they would know the directions how to get there and had a VIP pass when they did. Amongst a million other wonderful things, Jesus was also a mapmaker. His map, however, only had one place on it, and only one step for the route there, but I challenge anyone to find a better one. And as our Guide neared…
John tells us that the Pharisees knew something was amiss. They heard the crowds. They heard that Jesus was coming. They saw the people adoring Him. They then conspired to put an end to it all…or so they thought.
Isaiah passages offer us hope. To me, that’s the overwhelming emotion in the words. “He will not shout, He will not raise his voice in public.” Jesus is gentle. Gentle with us and with the world. Despite everything, He is gentle when we need Him to be. When we hurt or are on the verge of breaking, like “the bruised reed,” He will not break us. Actually, He’ll heal us. Fix us. Make us better. That’s what He does for us. For His children.
“He will not falter or lose heart.” He loves us. There, I said it. L-O-V-E. Deal with it. You can’t get away from it. When the world, and even when some of the people we care most for and most about, falter us, or lose faith in us, Jesus will not as long as we continue have faith in Him.
Jesus tells us that He’ll take us by the hand. As kids, that made us feel secure when our parents held our hands. Especially when we were unsure of where we were or where we were going. Don’t fool yourself, we’re all still lost. Little sheep “baah’ing” in the wind. We need Him to hold our hands. He can hold both of mine if He wants.
Jesus tells us that we will be a light for those who are in the dark. It always, for me, goes back to being fishers of men. And not the “catch and release” kind either. We must get those who we have caught up in the Holy Spirit Net and teach them how to fish. We must spread the Word where there is no word. We must take the Word to those who can’t come to it. And it’s not like we’re alone in this. Jesus tells us that He’s guiding us there. He is everywhere we are.
He wants you to reach as many people as you possibly can…and then reach three more. He has made all this. And by “all this,” I mean literally look around, peek out the window, grab a book, Google anything…He made it. And He rightfully wants others to know about it.
Isaiah finishes up this section with Jesus reminding us that He has fulfilled things past prophesized, and that He will tell us about future things before they happen as well.
Jesus is past, present and future. He always was and always will be. Take heart in that. Take comfort in that.