We begin a series on the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. We will cover every day’s events as told to us in Scripture.
When someone knows they are dying, they are careful to share important things with their loved ones. I think it’s important we pay attention to what Jesus did and said during those last days. So, we’ll begin with…
We call this day Palm Sunday.
By this time, Jesus drew a crowd wherever He went. He was the famous preacher from Nazareth. People loved Him. They would travel long distances to catch a glimpse of the One who had come “full of grace of truth” (John 1:17 NIV).
Everything Jesus did and said pointed to a future time. And He was nearing that time on this Sunday. After an amazing dinner in Bethany – a dinner that concluded with Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with an expensive perfume – Jesus began His journey into Jerusalem.
He didn’t just walk like He had always done, but this time, He rode on a donkey.
John describes it like this…
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through
the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down
the road to meet him. They shouted,
Praise to God!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hail to the King of Israel!
I wonder who was in the crowd that day? Believers for sure. But were there doubters? Skeptics? Wounded souls? People with broken hearts? Sick ones? Haters standing in the shadows?
People who were… Lost? Lonely? Empty? Timid? Scared? Defeated? Overwhelmed? Burdened? Outcasts?
Yes! Yes! And Yes! No doubt, all these were in the audience on this day.
But one thing brought them all together. They came to see Jesus. And they worshiped Him.
Maybe some just went along with the crowd. But still they grabbed palm branches from nearby trees and laid them on the ground.
What a joyous day.
Now, let’s take a moment to talk about the palm branches. Where did the people place them?
On the ground!
I believe that this is a perfect example of true worship. Laying down our lives opens the door for worship. Not just our lives, but anything that stands in the way of intimacy with Jesus, our King.
Breaks the chains of bondage.
Welcomes the presence of Jesus.
Draws us closer to Jesus.
Renews our spirit.
Reignites our passion.
Leads us out of the slump.
So, what is it for you? Is it… Addiction? Self-sufficiency? Fear? Worry? Impure thoughts? Some sin? Brokenness? Bitterness? Anger? Judgment?
Or could it be… Your will? Your dreams? Your plans? Your heart?
You see, until we lay these things down at the cross, we cannot fully worship. Worship is exalting our King and honoring Him for who He is. He is surely worthy of our worship, don’t you agree?
After Jesus passed by, I wonder how many left with a feeling of excitement, joy. Perhaps their spirits were lifted to a place they had never known. That’s what worship does for us. Especially when the worship is genuine, pure, and comes from a place of surrender.
I plan to do some evaluating to see what I haven’t laid down. What I’m still holding onto. Because I want to be free to worship Jesus, the One who gave His life for me.
Will you do the same?