Psalms & Pandemics

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” John 12:12

Listening to the sermon this morning, I tried to imagine the excitement in the air with the news that Jesus was coming to town. Hearing rumors that he was the Messiah and of the miracles he had performed to heal people of all kinds of sickness and demon possessions. There were shouts as the crowd waited for the arrival of the Savior, “Hosanna!”

Looking around, I could see many who had been blessed by his many miracles. There were people who once were blind that could now see, those cured of leprosy, tax collectors that Jesus had eaten a meal with. And politicians had come to see the man whom it was rumored would save us from persecution. The 5,000 he fed with a few fish and loaves of bread. These people were all sinners, but when they met him, they gave up their lives of sin and followed him. Yes, I was surrounded by sinners just like me, holding out hope that he would deliver us from evil.

I could imagine people around me pushing forward to get a better position to see Jesus. The sun bearing down, the sound of all the people had become the intensity of an earthquake. His rhythm, his cadence, is the one that leads to life. He draws people in to him, but are these people here just to see what Jesus is all about? Do they want to follow him with all their hearts and souls or will they turn and run when the first opposition is faced?

But Jesus has come with one goal in mind. He knows the path set before him and he will not waiver from it. This crowd wants a king to wipe out all the evil in the world and redeem them. That’s not what he’s come here to do. His lot in life has been predestined and the prophecies must be fulfilled. We can’t mold him into what we want him to be, His Father has given him focus to finish the task.

Jesus took my sins and yours to the cross with him that day. As he was beaten and made to carry his cross, many in the crowd will abandon him out of fear. They won’t want to be associated with the “King of the Jews” because this isn’t the king they imagined. He was supposed to ride in on a white horse and save us all from the tyranny of the world.

Jesus did so much more for us that day than any of us could have imagined. He laid down his life for us, died on a cross so that we wouldn’t have to pay for our own sins. He had never sinned and only did good for those around him. He showed kindness to many who had been forgotten by society. The religious leaders didn’t believe in this man who was being heralded as the Son of God. They called him blasphemous!

Would I have begged for them to spare his life or would I have gone along with the crowd?Would I have runaway out of fear for my own life? I can’t say what I would have actually done if I were in that place. But I’m certain my face would have been tear stained. I’d be feeling like I wanted to stop the persecution, knowing there’d be nothing I could do against the guards that were taking him to his crucifixion.

I can imagine the sadness I would have felt after it was finished and my Savior hung on the cross, humiliated, beaten, mocked, and tortured. But, this had to come to pass so that Jesus could take his rightful place beside the Father. That was always the plan, but even Jesus’ apostles didn’t understand what was happening.

But we need to shout our “Hosannas”! We are the crowd and the world needs to hear us! They need to know that our Redeemer lives. We can’t hide from those who persecute the one who came to save us. We must stand up and spread the Good News. The news that Jesus came for all of us. If a person hasn’t been introduced to Jesus, we need to share the message of hope to the world. We know of the promises he has given us. Let’s share them with all who are willing to listen!

Here is a link to our online service for this Palm Sunday 2020. You can also visit our Facebook page , our website, or our YouTube channel to learn more about Milan Christian Church.

Thanks, Jon Porter, for all you do to make the message real to us. They aren’t just words. The passion in which you deliver them shows us the importance God has put on your heart.

In Faith,

Pam

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