Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A triumphant entry

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: John 12:12-15 (The Message) The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered: Hosanna!/Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!/Yes!/The King of Israel!/Jesus got a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it.

Jesus didn’t ride into Jerusalem on a strong, handsome steed, prancing about for all the people. He rode in on a simple donkey, which is used only for packing or riding. No self-respecting warrior would ever be caught dead riding a donkey into battle. When we think of a donkey, one word comes to mind: humility. That describes Jesus, and that is the way he wants it. He doesn’t want to be seen as the conquering hero, which is what the Jews were hoping and praying for.

Today, we use “hosanna” as an exclamation of praise, but in roughly 33 AD, it had meaning in both the Greek and Hebrew, meaning “save or deliver (us), we pray.” So when the people were shouting “Hosanna!” to Jesus, they weren’t praising him, they were pleading for deliverance. And Jesus delivered – in a mighty way. Just not the way the people were expecting. Jesus came to set hearts free, even if they were still shackled as slaves. Even the palm branches had meaning: triumph and victory.

Jesus’ final days were at hand, and he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, just a few days before Passover. He had just left Bethany and the home of Lazarus, where his sister Mary had anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. There, Judas Iscariot was already plotting against Jesus. He made a big scene about using the money from the perfume to help the poor, but it was all a hoax, because he probably would have embezzled the funds. Mary’s use of the nard also was part of Jesus’ preparation for burial a week later.

Word had quickly spread. Jesus had healed Lazarus from the dead. Eyewitness accounts were growing. Even as the people were cheering for Jesus to save them, Judas was en route to sell his soul to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. The people were clamoring for Jesus, and all the Pharisees saw was an out-of-control mob. This Jesus had to be stopped! The Pharisees must have looked on in contempt as Jesus rode in on a dirty pack donkey, for crying out loud. Triumph and victory would come a few days later in his death. The people just didn’t know that. We do.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, thank you for your triumph over death, so that I could live eternally. Help me to be more humble like you. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 170

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/december.asp?version=51

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