By Brooke Holt
“And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’” (Luke 19:39–40)
Some people just don’t like to celebrate. Sounds weird, I know, but some people are more comfortable with control—even when that control brings no joy or peace. You can think of the Grinch, who tried to steal Christmas, or Scrooge, who wanted to bypass the joy of Christmas. Beyond Hollywood’s examples, I am sure you have your own. Some people prefer misery. What a drag!
The Pharisees did not want to enter the joy and celebration of Jesus on the day of his triumphal entry—or any day for that matter. Jesus interfered with their control of the people because he taught with different power and understanding; he taught with love, compassion, and wisdom that was not of this world. The Pharisees were outmatched in the person of Jesus, and they resisted him to the very end.
When Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem, the crowds were crazy with joy and celebration. It was a glorious day! But Luke tells a different story about the Pharisees. They resisted the celebration and even had the audacity to rebuke Jesus and instruct him to quiet the people. They accused Jesus and his followers of blasphemy.
The people declared Jesus to be their promised Messiah. There was every reason to celebrate and worship him! Jesus would not allow the Pharisees to steal the joy of the day. Instead of submitting to the Pharisees’ request, Jesus declared that he was worthy of such praise: “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (v. 40). What did Jesus mean by these words?
In Colossians 1:16, Paul writes: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” As the Creator of all that is, Jesus rightfully deserves worship. Everything that exists is from him and for him. Isaiah 55:12 describes how even nature declares the praise of the Lord: “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
In Jesus’s response to the Pharisees, he declares that he is worthy of the praise. All creation will one day bow before him and acknowledge that he is the King of kings. On that day, no one will resist the King’s authority. But only believers will enter into his eternal joy.
This brief interaction calls you to consider your heart. And Holy Week calls you to pick up your cross, die to self, and follow Jesus. Are you celebrating what Jesus has done for you? Do you worship him as the King? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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