As Jesus rode through the streets of the holy city, the people waved palm branches, laid down their robes as a beautiful carpet before the donkey, and sang songs befitting a triumphant king returning from a battle that secured victory and freedom for everyone in the kingdom. Because that is exactly what had happened… kind of. The fact is Jesus was the King. And He had initiated a kingdom. He had given the blessing of freedom. But what the people did not know was that their king had not yet fought the most decisive battle of the war. That would happen during this holy week between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday. And this is where the story gets sort of sad. Within 100 hours of hailing Jesus as the promised king who would deliver them from their oppressors, many of these same people would be delivering Jesus up to be killed by their oppressors. As difficult as that may be to believe, it is exactly what happened to Him, and is likely what has happened to you at some point, albeit on a smaller scale.
Have you ever had anyone lift you up to great heights of honor and love with their words and actions, and then within days turn against you? This kind of extreme reversal is enough to make even the most stable person rethink their relationships and mission. Jesus was receiving the highest praise just before He would receive the lowest blows of His life. Yet, He did not diminish their praise. Knowing that this same crowd who yelled “The King who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” (Luke 19:38), would in a few days scream “Crucify Him!”, Jesus lovingly and graciously received their praise. He was about to graciously die for these people and give them eternity. Aren’t you glad Jesus refuses to allow our spiritual instability to interfere with His ultimate purpose? We should do the same with the people in our life. In fact, when the enemy tried to shut down this urban worship service and quiet the ones reveling in the glory of the Messiah, Jesus replied, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!” (Luke 19:40)
The praise of Jesus is important to God, and it is important to us. Many people who lift their palms in worship today will use those same palms to do wickedness later this week. You may fear that you will not always be worthy to praise the Lord. Do not let that stop you from praising today. There may come a time when you rebel and bring shame to the name of Christ. But do not let that fear stop your praise today. He will receive your worship, and graciously receive any repentant soul. Falling before Him in worship today will prepare you if ever you fall from Him in weakness this week.
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.