King Jesus Enters Jerusalem:
“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David. ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’ Hosanna in the highest.” And when He had come intoJerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the crowd said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.” (Matt. 21:1-11).
The above Scripture describes the events of Palm Sunday, the first day of the last week of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Over the next week, I want to take you on a devotional journey towards the Cross. I pray that each day, you will gain a greater awareness of the awesome love and grace that the Lord Jesus Christ has for you. Before we begin with the Bible text, I want to share with you a story that I think is a great illustration of what Jesus has done for us.
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?” Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor, he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood. (by Dan Millman – from “Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul”).
Wow – isn’t that a great story? That’s a picture of what Jesus did for us. Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
“I thank the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created… Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that. You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message – just this one.” (Col. 1:12-15, 20-23, Message).
The whole story of Christianity is one of love, hope, and restoration. If you don’t know Jesus today, I want to challenge you – at the beginning of this Holy Week – to spend the time with me every day, reading through these daily devotions, and meditating on who Jesus is, and what He has done for you.
Pastor Chris Jordan