by Cheri Cowell
“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Matthew 21:6-9 NIV
I love a parade. There is something magical that happens between the crowd and parade participants. As the anticipation grows for the start of the parade, there is a quickening within every heart. We adults recognize that feeling, but we often brush it aside because, after all, we’re the grown-ups. But children express that growing excitement readily. They are fun to watch.
The music begins and a lump develops in our throats. We’re grateful for the chance to shout or clap as a band goes by, giving us time to swallow that lump. Then the moment arrives. For each of us the catalyst is different. For some it is a clown, for others it’s the sight of the Easter Bunny, or the fire-truck that takes us by surprise. It is then that the magic happens—we’ve become little children again. We feel all of the emotions the children around us are experiencing. We become one with them, transported back to the time when we were young and carefree.
This must have been what it was like 2000 years ago, when adults and children alike grabbed tree branches and sang “Hosanna.” The excitement in Jerusalem had been building. The word of Jesus’ miracles and rumors of his Messiahship filled the city. Anticipation reigned. Would this be the moment they had waited for all their lives? Would this be their day of deliverance?
As the parade began, their excitement must have welled up within them. With joy each one sang and waved branches for the King riding in on a donkey. Young and old alike were transported back to another time when God had set their people free from slavery and oppression. It seemed that God had now sent another long-awaited redeemer, the Promised One of Israel. So the crowd shouted and sang as one.
As you read the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, put yourself in the scene. See yourself standing on the side of the road, waiting. Imagine the children around you expressing their excitement, peppering you with questions, unable to stand still. Feel the lump develop in your throat as you hear the crowd ahead of you start to roar as Jesus rounds the bend.
Dwell in the midst of that scene until you are filled with child-like faith and joy, knowing your Messiah has come. Then be filled with appreciation for what He has done for you this Easter season. And thank God for it all.
About the author: Cheri Cowell‘s Bible study, One Story, One Mission, One God, shares how God’s mission has been the same from Genesis through Revelation. To learn about this and Cheri’s other books visit CheriCowell.com.
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Join the conversation: What will you be celebrating this Easter?