Sunday March 28 – Day 40 – CELEBRATE THE KING!

 In Lenten Devotional

Sunday March 28 – Day 40 – CELEBRATE THE KING!

“Everyone in Jerusalem,
    celebrate and shout!
Your king has won a victory,
    and he is coming to you.
He is humble
    and rides on a donkey;
he comes on the colt
    of a donkey.” – Zechariah 9:9 (CEV)

“28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”” – Luke 19:28-40 (NIV)

It was foretold that Jesus, the King, would win a victory.

It was foretold that He would ride a colt/donkey, and that He would be a humble King.

Can you imagine the day? Can you imagine the excitement?

The closest thing that I can get to that experience would be with two winning sports teams.

The first:  Rose-Frances and I stayed over in Toronto the night the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1992.  They were in Atlanta, and we watched the game on the big screen at the Skydome.  There were many fans watching the game and when they won, pandemonium hit the streets of Toronto.  Walking back to our hotel that night was an experience I will never forget.

The second:  Riley and I travelled to Pittsburgh in 2017 after the Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups and we went to the victory parade.  The energy was electric, and it was filled with joy and celebration.

Although there were no confetti cannons in Jesus’ day, they weren’t needed.  I can imagine the shouting and screaming (as if at a Beatles show circa 1964-66 USA), the praise and the celebration would have been greater than any mega church on any given Sunday.  God had sent His only Son and the world was celebrating the change that was just around the corner.  Jesus’ numerous healings and miracles had made him the news of the day, yet He didn’t come in the procession riding in a limousine.

He didn’t even drive up in a red Ferrari.

He didn’t even ride up on a white stallion.

Instead, He came in on a donkey, as a humble servant.

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

The shouts and praise of the crowd are what Jesus deserved. Palms were lowered before the donkey as they rode by.  The whole image is so cinematic.  The King was here and in the flesh!  God came through on His promise of the Messiah at last!

And this is where we pause the story.  We know what is to come.  But it is a moment in the Passion story that many of us love to freeze and put on hold.  The moment when all was perfect.  In fact, one would not be surprised if at this point of the story, Jesus says, “I think I could get used to this celebrity status and star treatment.  Maybe we could put off the crucifixion for just a couple of weeks, right, Lord? There is no rush, right?”

As we saw on day one of this series:  Jesus wants no part in this earthly celebrity.  He wants to do the will of His Father who sent Him.  Anything less and the mission would have been in vain.

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

For today, we celebrate the King who entered to the sounds of praise.  Even if the disciples didn’t shout His praises, the stones would have cried out in praise.  I have to say the stones were very silent when the Jays won as well as during the Penguins parade.

May the echoes of the crowd fill our minds and hearts right now, today.  May we be inspired to praise Him with our own shouts of praise.

Today marks the official last day of our devotion series.  40 days went by very quickly, didn’t it?  I hope that these thoughts have inspired or encouraged you to praise Jesus today.  I hope that your Lenten journey has been one of reflection, prayer and contemplation.  I hope that you are closer to Jesus than you ever have been before, and that you can say without a doubt that you are ready for the week to come.

Starting tomorrow, we will continue this series on the events leading up to Good Friday, so I hope you will join us for another seven days of daily devotions.

Today we hope you will join us at 10:30 a.m. ET on Facebook for our own Palm Sunday worship gathering.  If you can’t join us, find time today to worship Jesus.  Maybe it will be with the windows rolled down singing your favourite worship songs.  Maybe it will be gathering your family together to pray.  Maybe it will be a walk in nature to reflect on the creativity of the Father.  Maybe it will be doing a sacrificial act for someone in need.  Make today a day of praise and celebration for what Jesus has done.

Happy Palm Sunday!

Blessed is he king who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest!

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