It takes many, many hours for us to develop, research, and to refine our blogs. If that were all I had to do day in and day out, it might become faster for me. I might be a little more thorough, and write in such a way that it wouldn’t take quite as long for you to read. So, I’ll try to write fast if you will try to keep up with my writing and thought process! Here is a short incomplete list of parades that came to my mind:
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!
If you are into numbers in the Bible like I am, you will find it interesting that in Genesis 8:13 Noah opened the ark to dry land on 01/01/601. The date was first year of 600’s. 601 in fact (six is the number of man), 1st month, and the first day of the month! I guess it was kinda like New Years Day if you compare the dates to our calendar!
New beginning, new beginning, new beginning! It was a second chance for mankind.
13 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year,
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.
After the flood, God established an everlasting covenant and celebrated with a banner in the sky…the rainbow. I can only imagine the ooh’s and ahh’s proclaimed by Noah and his family at the beautiful spectrum of colors displayed against the beautiful azure palette above head and over the once dreary waters and sky.
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.
The Midnight Parade:
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!
The Passover celebration was instructed as a reminder for their salvation and not open to just anyone! It was a memorial and ordinance for the chosen children who obeyed the words of the Lord. It is a celebration that we share today as followers of Christ.
What are some practical ways to celebrate and remember the day that Jesus set you free from your sin? Your so-called midnight escape?
The Parades of Jesus
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.
I really never gave too much thought for the two animals. The New American Commentary suggests:
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!
Celebration, honor and song accompanied this triumphal parade!
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 who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
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.”
He gives to those who thirsts and overcomes! These things are a certainty!
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)
So this thought of parades, celebrations, and promises has taken me on quite a thought-provoking journey. It is my prayer as you have read this blog today, that you too will step deeper into contemplative study and meditation on the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit lavishly pour into your heart truths about Himself that speak relevantly during your time of study.
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.
“But thanks be to God,
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
How effectively is your life spreading the “fragrance of the knowledge of Him”? Do the people in your sphere of influence tangibly see and experience the goodness and grace of God through you?
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)
Let your mind give thought to other parades:
Please share with us your insights as you study through parades, celebrations, and promises. It is a way to encourage other believers! And as we approach Easter, think heavily upon the parades of Jesus. He loves you dearly to submit Himself to such scoff, scandal and suffering. Trust Him. He gave His all for you! Won't you let go and give your all to Him? We know there are celebrations and promises ahead when we release ourselves to the will of the Father. Ultimately, we inherit all things new by drinking of His water of life and overcoming through the power of His blood. We become His sons and He our God!
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.
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