Just a few thoughts on this day we celebrate as Palm Sunday.
Today, I am writing to those who have experienced a time when you accepted Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. You have given your life to Jesus and believe that He is the Son of God, the Messiah sent to make atonement for your sins.
We are doing a pageant today at my church that really causes me to think. My amazing husband wrote the script and it is wonderful. But as wonderful as it is, it is also heart wrenching. Imagine your present day self in the midst of the events of the last week of Christ. How would you respond? What would it feel like? How would your faith change? Would it change your life, your thoughts, your actions?
This lesson has come to me like a flood this week and I hope it speaks to you as well.
When you and I came to know and accept Christ, we became palm branch wavers. We are waving the palm branches and crying. “Hosanna, Lord”. Our excitement and awe of our salvation experience is beyond description. What a glorious time that is! We have given our broken, messed up lives completely and they have been returned to us whole and new. I remember the February when I gave my life to Christ. I was 8 1/2 years old. I wanted to live for him every second of every day. I made up my mind to live with no regrets….never turning away from my faith…always sold out, always believing, always following, always making the right choices. My innocent and heartfelt desire was to be the perfect Christian; not because I wanted to be seen by others but because I just loved Jesus that much and truly appreciated everything He had done for me. I bet you felt the same way didn’t you?
Well, there has been a lot of life happen since I was that little 8 1/2 year old girl. I have to say that my goal of life with no regrets was shattered pretty quickly. My guess is that yours was too. We grow, things get busy, society squeezes in a little tighter, heartache comes, trials and storms hit, or maybe life just gets so good that we forget our desperate need for Christ. But whatever circumstance it might have been, you and I have, at times, laid down our palm branches. Jesus says in Matthew 11:23, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”
The mental picture of my present day self in the crowd with Jesus sends a chill through my soul. What about you? Can you see yourself as a palm waiver? I can! It is glorious and amazing and fulfilling and right. I love being a palm waver! But, in this life, have you ever laid down your palm branch? Oh sweet friends..I have. What scripture tells us is that if we lay down our palm branch and stop crying out, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”, then we do not just become neutral and quiet. We become a part of a very different crowd that is crying, “Crucify Him!” We are either for Him in our thoughts, words and actions or we are against Him. There is no neutral.
I think on the times in my life that, through my actions, my thoughts, or my words, I have become the one shouting, “Crucify Him”. It makes me angry…at myself, at this world, at Satan, at circumstances. All of the frustration I feel against the crowd when I read about this event in scripture I should also recognize about myself when I have allowed myself to become a part of that crowd. So, I am fervently praying this prayer…God, please make it very clear to me when I lay down my palm branch. Help me be aware of the times when my thoughts and actions take me into a crowd where I, as a believer, do not belong. Grab me, hold onto me, guide me, send believers that truly care about me into my path to help me see where I am heading and turn me back to You. I still want to be that little 8 1/2 year old palm waver, full of love for You. My desire is to still live with no regrets. My desire is to be the best palm waver You have ever had! Praise you Jesus. Amen
So to you precious folks who have dared to read yet another post from a simple girl, I have to ask you a question. Which crowd are you in today? You can’t be neutral. You have to choose. The choice is made every single day. Will you be a palm waver or a part of the angry crowd?
My prayer for all of us today is that we will choose to shout, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”