It always strikes me as odd when certain thoughts pop into my head! I was driving to an appointment this week with the radio off, I wasn’t rushed, and I had been up very early. I was enjoying my ride when….Bam! From nowhere came this sudden thought: Parades, Celebrations, and Promises!
Out loud, I said it again. Parades…Celebrations…Promises? “God, this is a cool title for a blog! What does it mean?” (I’m so glad that cars these days have blue tooth so you can talk on your phone hands free. No one on the road knows I don’t have that feature so it’s okay for me to talk aloud to the Lord and myself!) I’ve been praying about what God wanted me to write about and several titles and phrases have been chewed on this week but nothing like this hit me as hard! I took serious notice! It was as if God was speaking directly to me to pursue this train of thought. I began to think about types of parades, celebrations that took place in the Bible and of His great and precious promises to us. Then I had to leave this train and attend my meeting! But the thought of parades, celebrations, and promises never left my cerebral file cabinet. I hope you will be challenged today!
What?! Parades, Celebrations, & Promises? Hmmm?
- Animals into the Ark
- The Midnight Parade of Escape
- The Parades of Jesus
We all know the story of Noah and the Ark, or so we should! God chose to preserve His created animals and mankind through an ark built by Noah, architected by God’s design. He was the only man who found favor in the eyes of the Lord because he loved God and obeyed Him. The animals came in two by two. God shut the door, the rains came down, and the floods came up! All was destroyed as they spent right at a year developing sea legs upon that floating dark, smelly, zoo! It probably wasn’t Mrs. Noah’s idea of the romantic cabin in the woods or private get-away!
Parade of animals into the ark (Gen. 17-18) – a new place to live….strange new acquaintances...old world floods…new world springs forth with much growth, fresh & vibrant. New promise of hope! I am your God…I am with you...trust my provisions...
Only two of each kind was called! Two heard the voice and obeyed the instinct to move. They left their herd, feeding ground, their nest, burrow, cave, and others of their kind. Noah didn’t collect them; they followed the “parade” (what ever that looked like!) It was a direction to a place of safety. They found shelter among others who had obeyed the call. The same was true of Noah and his sons.
New beginning, new beginning, new beginning! It was a second chance for mankind.
in the first month,
on the first of the month,
the water was dried up [g]from the earth.
Then Noah removed the covering of the ark,
and looked, and behold, the [h]surface of the ground was dried up.
Have you been in that place? The place when God calls you to do something that you think you cannot possibly be equipped to do and the place where total dependance is on Him? You have to move from a "comfort zone" to a "trust zone!" Be encouraged, friend. God will see you through. He has the set of plans! The waters may seem stormy and over your head, but fret not nor be afraid. There is always a promise of hope when it comes to answering God's call! And what comes after the rough waters will take your breath away with uncontainable joy, beauty, and peace.
There was a call to leave (Ex. 12: 29-31)…a great parade of Hebrew Children leaving all behind but a few items God told them to grab. It was a great escape in the night! Verse 22 instructs the Hebrews to set themselves apart by putting blood on the doorpost of their home and not to go outside. It was the Passover sacrifice. At midnight (the turning of a new day I might add!), the Lord struck all of the firstborn in Egypt. Only the view (sign) of the blood shed and spread over the lintel and doorpost caused the Lord to pass over and spare them from death. The Israelites would experience a new life, new ways, favor and a new promise of hope! New promise…I will be with you, I will lead you and I will fight for you. And God did as He said. He was leading them by a column of fire by night and a cloud by day. He became the light and direction during the darkness. Respite during the brawling heat of the journey. And as they approached the Red Sea, (14:14) The Lord fought for them!
What are some practical ways to celebrate and remember the day that Jesus set you free from your sin? Your so-called midnight escape?
Read Matt. 21 – Hosanna, Blessed is He Who Comes
Jesus parades the street on a donkey & colt –
There’s celebration and singing!
Messiah has come – salvation is near as was prophesied –
promise of redemption.
But irrespective of the correct reading of Zech 9:9,51 it would be natural for the mother to come along if her colt had never previously been ridden (Mark 11:2).52 Verse 5 can easily be taken as implying that Jesus rode only on the young donkey, appropriate symbolism for his purity and holiness. “Daughter of Zion” refers to the people of Jerusalem. The “king” will be the Messiah. But an unarmed, plainly clad civilian riding a donkey contrasts sharply with an armed soldier astride a warhorse. This Messiah comes in humility, gentleness, and peace.
But I also see the symbolic “newness” ushered in. A new way to salvation, thus fulfilling prophesies.
I love that Matthew Henry brings out the importance of the donkey as being a
“creature made not for state, but service, not for battles, but for burdens; slow in its motions, but sure, and safe, and constant.” I see it as a quiet symbolic promise of security!
I think of another parade in which my Jesus entered. This parade was not one of joyful celebration for those who had eyes to see, but I suspect, a big celebration for those who falsified and displayed malice against Him. First, it was the parade to the chief priests and scribes. Then He was paraded off to Pilate. The angry, the accusing, and the condemning led this parade! Pilate found no fault in Jesus, but because of the determination of the mob, Pilate paraded him off to Herod. After Herod’s questioning and mockery of Jesus, he and his soldiers adorned Jesus in gorgeous apparel and paraded Him back to Pilate. Pilate, still finding no guilt upon Him, delivered Jesus’ fate into the hands of those who sought to put Him to death. He was paraded down The Via Dolorosa to Golgotha where He would be raised high upon a cross and put on display. Crowds watched. Followers mourned. Rulers scoffed. I surmise a wicked celebratory attitude of “I guess we showed you!” took place in the hearts of those who denied Him as The Messiah, Savior of the world. A sad celebration…but oh the promise yet to be unfolded and revealed! The promise of forgiveness as He cried out, Father forgive them! The promise of a direct line to the throne room as the veil was torn from top to bottom. The promise of death defeated as He took the keys of death and hell and rose again on the third day! The promise of salvation, full and free! It’s the promise of a future resurrection when all of the dead in Christ shall rise at His rapture. The promise of the great Revelation parade as He rides on the White Horse and victoriously defeats the great battle, which precedes the Great White Throne judgment and the New Jerusalem.
The promise of all things new! Observe to whom He gives it!
And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
6 Then He said to me, “[c] It is done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
8 But for the cowardly and [d] unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and [e]brimstone, which is the second death.”
What freedoms and blessings do you enjoy now because of Christ’s victory on the cross? (If you need some ideas, look at Romans 6:1-23, 7:1-24, 8:1-39 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-58)
Do you realize that your life is on parade? It is Christ who leads us in the procession! There are people with empty eyes looking up to you as you pass by the shell of their soul. Their hearts often yearn with…throw me something mister (as we say in Louisiana)…as the fragrance of our knowledge of God spreads everywhere; it’s through our actions, words, looks, love and how we touch lives.
who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere
the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
There is a great celebration in store for us. The Wedding Feast (Rev. 19:9) and gifts of crowns (1 Cor. 9:24,25, 1 Thess. 2:19, 20, James 1:12, 2 Tim. 4:8, 1 Pet. 5:1-4)! But more importantly, it’s a new life of celebrating the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Then we have His promises…His great and precious promises! (1 Peter 1;4)
- The promise of identity when we display love to one another (John 13;35)
- The promise of eternal life (John 3:16)
- The promise of conquering (Romans 8:37)
- The promise of Quenched thirst (John 4:14)
- The promise of All things new (2Corinthians 5:17)
- Parade Around the Walls (Jericho)
- Race through the Red Sea
- The Parade Grounds of the Wilderness
- The Parade with a Healing Touch
Be blessed as you explore God's parades, celebrations, and promises!
51 On the possibility of at least two interpretive traditions arising out of the Zechariah text, see R. Bartnicki, “Das Zitat von Zach IX, 9–10 und die Tiere im Bericht von Matthäus über dem Einzug Jesu in Jerusalem (Mt XXI, 1–11),” NovT 18 (1976): 161–66.
52 Gundry, Matthew, 409; Green, Matthew, 200.
 Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 312.
 Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1720.