On the third day of Lent, we drew a family activity where we all were to act out the Palm Sunday Parade. The boys were so excited. It was like they were going to be in a play. They planned the entire activity down to who would play the part of Jesus and the donkey. After listening closely to the story of John 12:12-14, we all tried to imagine the atmosphere of the celebration and the excitement of the people running to see Jesus, the King, riding into town. The story’s events of the following week would not only change the spirit of the crowd, but would change the world forever.
The story of John reads, “The next day, the great crowd that had come for the feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting ‘Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel.’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it as it is written.”
I imagine that the dusty roads leading into Jerusalem were anything but quiet. The buzz of excitement that filled the air was for the preparation for Passover, the biggest holiday of the year. Everyone from all around were trying to get into the town of Jerusalem to celebrate this occasion. The roads were probably crowded with donkeys and camels. I am sure that the bleating of sheep, mooing of cows could all be heard all over, as well as the laughing and singing of children. The mood was lively and joyous as people greeted old friends and family members they hadn’t seen since the previous year.
Most of the people in the crowd recognized the man who was riding the young colt. They had heard his teachings, and many had witnessed his miracles. “It’s Jesus! It’s Jesus!” they shouted. They prepared a long carpet out of clothing and palm branches, reaching all the way down the road and into town for the donkey and the colt carrying Jesus to walk upon. While they were laying garments and palm branches on the ground, they were waving and shouting, “HOSANNA! HOSANNA! Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord! BLESSED BE THE KING! HOSANNA!” On that blessed day, the world was running to Jesus.
The world is running today, but this time I don’t think everyone is running after Jesus. This story made me question my spiritual race. Who am I running to? Am I chasing healing or the Healer? What is motivating me, creation or the Creator; the movement or the Mover? During the race, it is important that I don’t lose sight of my motives. What moves me today and where is it moving me? Sometimes the passion is greater for the miracle than the Miracle Giver. Coming this far into the race, I need to be reminded to stay in His presence and pursue what He wants me to do. I want to say with all my heart that I am running after Jesus today as I go through the exercise of pursing things from my life and surrendering them to the Lord.