Spring has come to Bdecan!
The days are getting longer. The weather is getting warmer. The snow is melting away, and the grass is coming back. I love this time of year. I just feel like celebrating.
One of my favorite celebrations in the New Testament happened on Palm Sunday. Luke 19 tells us,
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.”
How I would have loved to be in Jerusalem on that day! What a street party it must have been. Everyone in the streets seeing what was happening. This is an exciting day. Laying their coats in front of Jesus’ donkey, and waving palm branches in the air as He entered. Can we blame them? The promised Savior is making his way into Jerusalem for the Passover. Everyone is crazy excited for his arrival. Well, almost everyone.
The Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of that time were not happy about this. They were already not happy about what Jesus was teaching. It went against how they understood the Old Testament, and what they had learned growing up. They wanted someone who was just for them, but Jesus came for all people.
They were worried about the crowd getting out of control. They were worried about the news of Jesus continuing to spread. They were worried about the number of Jesus’ followers continuing to grow. They realize that there is no way for them to quiet this crowd down on their own. They ask Jesus to help quiet the crowd down. His followers were leading the celebration, maybe if Jesus got them to stop, everyone else would as well.
Jesus tells them that this would do no good. Even if the crowds were silent, the rocks would cry out. Now I don’t know about you, but I think rocks growing mouths would look pretty silly. I think what Jesus means is this. If the crowd stopped praising God, creation itself would begin. This is how important this news was. It was news that was too good for people to keep to themselves. Their Savior had arrived!
I wonder how much Jesus knew about the week that was ahead of him? Did he know that he would be eating his last meal later that week? Did he know that he would be betrayed and disowned by his own disciples? Did he know that there would be another crowd gathering just a few days later. Instead of shouting praises, they would be shouting crucify him? Did Jesus know the pain that he would endure getting beaten, abused in every way, and nailed to the cross?
Jesus is the son of God, so he must have known what was ahead of him. I’m guessing he knew most of what he would face that week. Even knowing all of this, Jesus decides to enjoy that moment. To take in this celebration while it lasted. We can imagine him laughing, smiling, waving at the crowds during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a welcome that was fit for a king!
As we continue through this season of lent, let God prepare our hearts for what is ahead. First for the celebration ahead of us on Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entry. Then, for the even bigger celebration of Easter, when we celebrate our Savior raising from the dead.
This news is too good for us to keep to ourselves. As we celebrate the life coming back in the spring, let us celebrate Jesus coming back to life.
Let this celebration not end at Easter. Let us celebrate throughout year that we are saved! Not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ did for us.
My name is Joe Obermeyer. I am the Youth and Outreach Coordinator at Bdecan Presbyterian Church.