By Brooke Holt
“Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he had made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!” Psalm 118:25-27
Celebrations are such joyous times. In just a couple of months, our youngest child will graduate from high school, and we will celebrate! We will applaud him in the ceremony and then enjoy a party in his honor. Celebrations invite us to come together as a family and with friends to mark a milestone.
The day Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was a day to celebrate. The King of Israel had finally come. Accompanying the celebration of what God had done in sending the promised Messiah were many expectations held by the Jewish people. They expected this Messiah to save them from their enemies, especially from the tyranny of Rome. Then, the Messiah would make all things right. They had yearned and longed for the coming of this day - this milestone when they would go all out to celebrate their long-awaited King.
If you attended a Palm Sunday service on Sunday, these words of Psalm 118 will sound quite familiar. They are the words shouted by that crowd celebrating Jesus in his triumphal entry: “Save us, we pray” which come from the Hebrew word “Hosanna”. Trusting that Jesus came in the name of the Lord, they proclaimed that God was the true God as they awaited his light to shine into their oppression and darkness.
Indeed, Jesus was and is the light of the world. John began his gospel: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). Yet this light of Jesus would not dismantle the powers of Rome as the nation of Israel hoped and expected. Instead, the light of Jesus would dispel the power of sin, death, and Satan.
The triumphal entry celebration would be short-lived. Those same voices that cried out “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday were the same voices that cried out, “crucify him” just days later - a drastic change from celebration to condemnation.
Celebrations, while glorious, often mark just the beginning. My son has a new adventure awaiting him in his college education. As his parents, my husband and I must continue this journey with him. We will experience good days and challenging days ahead as well as many tuition bills. We have expectations and desires for our son; however, our greatest desire is that he would be faithful to fulfill the plan of God for his life, even if it differs from our expectations or vision for him.
Jesus has come to triumph over evil and death and save those who trust in him. The question for you today is this, will you stick with him in the challenges and the triumph? This week, you go from celebrating the King to walking the road to Calvary. Thankfully, you know this road leads to the celebration of Easter Sunday. Stay with him!
Are you willing to walk the road to Calvary knowing that resurrection life is just ahead? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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