Put the Jelly Beans Aside

Easter is coming, but today, tomorrow, and Saturday are days to remember and reflect upon those painful days of Jesus’ life. Days of betrayal. Great suffering. Death.

While America is busy buying jelly beans and bunny rabbits, let’s take time to ponder the events of these next few days that took place 2000 plus years before our birth.

The events that changed our destiny.

Below is a reprint of a post I wrote a few years ago:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses, and dressed in fine linen white and clean (Rev. 19:11-14).

We celebrate Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem as “Palm Sunday” because the people threw their coats on the road for a make-shift red carpet, and they tore off palm branches to wave in the air as they yelled, “Hosanna! Hosanna!”

I remember teaching this for a children’s sermon years ago. I was sitting on the front steps of a very tiny Methodist sanctuary. There were probably just a handful of adults in the pews and five or so sets of eyes and little hands and feet sitting around me as I told this story. I remember having the kids and the congregation put on their imagination caps and envision Jesus walking into our church and down the center aisle toward our little gang. I encouraged them to clap and yell and do what they would do if Jesus had walked in our doors. The small crowd and gang of children clapped and whooped and hollered and gave Jesus their most exciting welcome and praise. I taught this scripture that day as the one time when all of the people actually recognized Jesus as the Savior and worshiped Him.

But I learned recently (forgive me if this is elementary)that the word “Hosanna” means “save”. The people were actually crying out to Jesus, “Save us! Save us! Save us!” The teacher who revealed this truth to me cried out passionately as the people would have. She reenacted this scene with such desperation that I could no longer see this as just a moment of praise. It was a moment of begging Jesus to save His people from Roman rule.

Jesus, however, didn’t ride into town that day on a strong, white, war horse. No, He rode on a colt. This was the sign of peace. As He rode through Jerusalem, the people were begging Him to be their savior, their physical savior who would free them from Roman rule. But Jesus clearly demonstrated His intent.

He did not come to make war but to bring peace…this time.

As I’ve been chewing on this scripture and this scene, I’ve envisioned the people getting angry at Jesus as they realized He was not riding the right kind of animal to save them. Jesus’ actions that day spoke loudly to the people, “I have not come to make war.”

I wonder if that is what caused them to yell “crucify!” just a page later.

Though Jesus rode on a donkey that day, we know the salvation He did bring was so much greater than what the people wanted. Their request was temporary. His actions were eternal.

Have you been asking the Lord of Host to “save” you from something, and it seems He is riding a donkey of peace rather than the white horse? May we take heart. Even if His answer and actions do not seem an answer to your plea, believe He has a good plan. Worship Him as the One True Eternal Savior of your soul and mine. He isn’t finished. His actions are perfect for our lives today, and He is coming back… this time on the white one.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1Cor. 2:9).

Much grace and peace,

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