“All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” Matthew 21:4-5
Zechariah the Prophet looked forward through the corridors of time and saw by the Spirit of God, the triumphal entry of the Messiah, the Savior, the coming King into the city of Jerusalem, the city of David.
Those dwelling in Jerusalem in those days, and under the rule of the Roman Empire, were aware of these words and when they saw Jesus riding in on a foal of a donkey, they remembered the prophecy, recalled the promise, and they responded in both prayer and praise to God! Prayer and praise in the word Hosanna, which literally means, SAVE US! There was so much spontaneous excitement, some took off their outer garments and laid them down on the ground while others cut branches off of the palm trees that were close by and did the same. ‘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!”
But, isn’t this pretty much how it always is? There are some that know the Word of God and in great expectation they wait and watch for God’s promises to be fulfilled. When they see Him working, they cry out in praise and press into prayer, asking the Lord to miraculously show up in their lives – SAVE US! They lay down whatever they have of value at His feet and are excited to be a part of the crowd that God is touching. Others are watching and listening to see what’s happening. They may not know the prophecies specifically, but they see what is happening, and because of that, embrace the promises and join in with the others, and are, like the first group, excited to be a part of what God is doing.
Then, there are those on the fringe, who neither know the prophecies, or who aren’t particularly interested in the things of God, but because of the crowds and the excitement they press in wondering what is going on and who is this at the center of all of the commotion. Matthew continues; “And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
This is often how revival looks from the outside. But gathering large crowds for gatherings’ sake still misses the point. Revival is not about the excitement of the crowd, or even the works of God in the midst of the people, it is about JESUS. “So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.””
Mike Pilavachi, who heads up Soul Survivor in the United Kingdom knows a bit about gathering large crowds and seeing God move in their midst. Soul Survivor festivals ran from 1993 to 2019, gathering thousands of young people to worship Jesus each summer. Over 32,500 attended the last Soul Survivor summer with five events in Peterborough, Stafford and Scotland. But on his Facebook post from March 13th, he shared these key words: “Keep talking about revival and you are likely to end up with disappointed and disillusioned people; keep talking about Jesus and you are likely to end up with revival. Our greatest need in the Church is more knowledge and experience of Jesus. Not gimmicks, not hype, not better marketing or a more entertaining show. Just Jesus.” I love that – Just Jesus!
In Jerusalem, all those years ago, the people met the only ONE who was worthy of their praise, and willing and able to answer their prayer – SAVE US! It’s still the same TODAY! As we ponder Palm Sunday, and press forward toward Resurrection Sunday, lets focus our attention on the ONE who came to BE the LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY of God in our lives.
Pray with us; Lord, we pray for more knowledge, understanding, and more experience of YOU in our lives right now. We cry out together for YOU to pour out Your Love, Life and Liberty into our lives and into the lives of those we live alongside in our communities. May our family, friends, and neighbors meet YOU this Easter season as we share YOU with them. Just Jesus. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen, and Hosanna!
Rejoicing in Hope,