Saturday, April 4, 2009

Save Us!

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "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. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
They replied, "The Lord needs it."
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
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:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
Luke 19:28-41

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. The passage above is my favorite telling of Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. I love the part that talks about how if the people didn't praise him, the rocks would have cried out. This was the day all creation was awaiting, the King had arrived. I can only imagine the atmosphere, electric I suspect, alive with excitement and anticipation. Even though I know it was nothing as they had imagined, a humble man on a lowly donkey, the majesty could not be denied. More than any day I can imagine, if I could travel back in time, this is a day I would have longed to have witnessed.

They were a desperate people crying out for salvation. All the other gospels include the telling of how the people cried out, "Hosanna!" Save us! I can't help but think that the salvation they were seeking was nothing compared to the salvation He brang. Was it from the Roman Empire that they longed to be free? Was it freedom from their weariness and struggles? They were praising the miracles they had seen with their own eyes, the lame walked, the deaf heard, the blind were able to see. Perhaps it was their own disabilities and woundedness they longed for freedom from, but the Lord offered so much more.

I think that was why He wept. They wanted only a crumb for the floor when He offered them an honored seat at the table of the feast. They longed for a temporary change in their circumstance and the Lord offered a change in their lives and their hearts that could never be taken away. He offered a salvation that was sure and eternal.

That table remains set today. The feast is bountiful, the preparations complete, and still He longs to offer the honored seat, and people cry out only for the crumbs on the floor. Save us Lord... from our circumstance, from this economy, from the political climate, or social hostility. Crumbs.

Lord save us from ourselves, from shortsighted foolishness, forgetting that those of us who have chosen You have found our place at the table. We not only have the privilege of our seat but the opportunity to invite others to join us. We have the commission to share a filling that will never subside, a satiation of our souls, of the peace you came to bring.

I love this week and all it represents. What an incredible time it must have been to live in, to see the Lord, to watch Him perform miracles. To have stood in the presence of goodness and righteousness. What a privilege. And that Palm Sunday, It was a miracle actually. It was a prophesy fulfilled, mathematically perfect, awaited for 400 years.

"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. Daniel 9:25-26

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9

I wonder how many of the people new and remembered the words of the prophets as they watched Jesus come. Perhaps that was a part of the excitement that rose up inside them and caused them to cry out. Hosanna! It wasn't just a historical moment, it was their own history coming to fruition.

I wonder of this Palm Sunday. Who is crying out in these days? Does Jesus still weep for the people whose eyes seem to be blind to the peace and salvation He brings? I know He still longs for them to know His peace, a peace not tempered by physicalities or circumstance, but a deep residing peace that overwhelms all else.

And what of His own? So many sitting beneath the table as paupers instead of taking their proper place, considering crumbs a meal instead of feasting on the bounty He has prepared. I imagine Him bidding us come, take your place, bring others along, share with them the truth, I have enough for all, and my desire is not one be left outside. And yet there so many choose to remain.

I know this, Palm Sunday is nearly dawning, and for me, the Lord will not have to have a single rock cry out, for I will give Him praise.

This is a poem I wrote the yesterday thinking about this special day, I share it in close.


Our hearts crying out
Our hands lifted high

The praises pouring forth
We await Your reply

Hosanna! We cry.
How long will it be?

Our souls long to know,
When will we be free?

Your salvation has come
It’s here and at hand

We simply wait in faith
In Your strength we now stand.

For Your completed work
To be done in our lives.

Till then in Your goodness
Our hope in You thrives.

Hosanna! Save us!
From ourselves and our sin!

Hosanna! Save us!
Our Redeemer and friend!

Salvation’s at hand
Our hope you renew.

Your promise fulfilled
Our salvation is You!

- Diana DePriest
© April 4, 2009

Palm Sunday is here...

"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"

Click for more Easter Devotionals.