From One Parade to Another
A myriad of faces lined the street as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The roar of the crowd screaming, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ and ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ filled the air as many citizens spread their cloaks and cut branches from trees, paving the road for this triumphal entry. The whole city was stirred and yet some asked, “Who is this?”
Louisiana is the place where there seems to be a parade for every occasion. There is much anticipation, preparation, and celebration for every parade that is proclaimed in our area. Even Trader Joe’s closed it’s doors due to the celebratory chaos that would take place during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and all of it’s festivities. It is hard to comprehend the gathering of any large crowd and anyone asking, “What’s all the commotion?!” I remember the week that our Governor shut down the big Saturday St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to the possible COVID-19 Pandemic. The news media focused more on the loss of the parade rather than what could actually happen when a single droplet of Coronavirus could do to suddenly shut down the whole world! The only parades now are the ones that drive by as people try to celebrate their friend’s birthday or special occasion. Today as I am on the porch writing this blog, a parade of cars covered in balloons and posters, drivers honking their horns, and families hanging out of the windows, scream out in celebration over someone in my neighborhood. I question, “Who Is This?” that they celebrate?
The day that Jesus paraded into the Jerusalem was epic, especially when it was just days prior to Passover. Jesus was celebrated, but for different reasons. As He was accompanied by some disciples who were zealots, He was seen as the leader of the insurrection, to bring peace and victory over the Roman Empire. Some celebrated Him for He was a “great prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Some celebrated because they had been healed of their infirmity. Some knew the truth of who He claimed to be but silently watched as rode by. I think of Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:50-51) a member of the Sanhedrin council who was in disagreement with the others, as he was a secret follower waiting for the kingdom of God. And yet the question lingers, “Who is this?”
We as believers know well the story and events that took place leading up Easter. I came across this incredible timeline of Passion Week from Bible Gateway and wanted to share it with you. I encourage you to follow each day as it leads up to the parade of the Via Dolorosa, the events of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and to the points of His many appearances. I found it helpful as a visual aid to help me process the story line in the way my brain operates and receives information. Look at it closely as use the scripture references as a study guide for each day. I suggest that you download the file and print it so that you can see it better.
One revival night, the teachings of Jesus' parade down the Via Dolorosa was a turning point in my life. The visiting Jewish Evangelist spoke of Christ's great love and described the great suffering that Jesus took as my substitute. I cannot even begin to adequately describe the imagery that this pastor used to unveil my eyes to the scenes of that day. The Holy Spirit began to tug at my heart and move me to want to know more of that great love and sacrifice.
Every April is remembered as a special time in my life! It is the month that I made my own parade down the aisle of that little Baptist church; not to be recognized as anyone special, but to be recognized as a sinner ready to be saved by God’s grace. The events of Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross were vivid in my 9-year-old mind and heart. Overwhelmed by His pursuing love, I gave my heart to Christ and committed myself to a life of following Him, obeying Him, and sharing Him with the world.
Remember, that Christ viewed as living, and not as having died, is not a saving Christ. He himself saith, “I am he that liveth and was dead.” The moderns cry, “Why not preach more about his life, and less about his death?” I reply, Preach his life as much as you will, but never apart from his death; for it is by his blood that we are redeemed. “We preach Christ.” Complete the sentence. “We preach Christ crucified,” says the apostle. Ah, yes! there is the point. It is the death of the Son of God which is the conquering weapon. Charles Spurgeon
And we know that it was completed with the Resurrection! Jesus took the keys of Death and Hell and by His sacrifice, He made a way for us to reign with Him forever! Thanks be to God for His marvelous plan.
So, I ask the question to you, “Who Is This?” How well do you know Jesus? Do you really know Him intimately? Don’t let this COVID-19 Pandemic rattle you. I don’t want to think it a small thing but a tool that draws us deeper into fellowship with Christ. Hopefully you have read the ending and we as believers in Christ are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb.
Put it into practice:
Take some time to make a list of who Jesus is to YOU and how you have overcome. Jot a memory of ‘why’ beside each title. I think that you will find it a rich practice and one worth celebrating over. Why, you might even decide to do your own celebratory parade! Wouldn’t that be a site and raise questions!
Celebrating the Risen Savior,
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