Matters of Faith: After the Praise

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, Mdiv

John‬ ‭12:12-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.””

This event is referred to as the “Triumphant Entry” and chronicles the prophecy of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey. As I read the text, it was clear to me why the people cheered, spread their clothing and palm branches on the road as Jesus rode into town. They were expecting their Messiah, the one who would free them from the oppression of the Roman government. The many prophesies, including the one by Zachariah in this text telling of the Messiah coming while riding a donkey fulfilled the requirements. What they didn’t understand was that the Messiah was not going to free them from Roman oppression, but from eternal damnation.

What challenged me was the reason Jesus was willing to receive those praises when He knew that He was going to hear cries of “Crucify him! Crucify Him!” (Mark 15:13-14) by the same people who were shouting “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Even His closest allies, those who were chosen as disciples, would abandon Him. His purpose was not understood until after His death, burial and resurrection. So I found myself asking why would He receive their praise knowing that they did not understand his purpose, that their hopes would be dashed and their faith would be shaken? Their Messiah, the one who they were all waiting for, was going to be captured, tried, convicted and beaten before being crucified as a common criminal.

I might have seen things differently if He didn’t know that He was going to be crucified, but He did know. Yet, He still received their praise. Why would He do that?

In our lives, we have all encountered times when we were misunderstood. Sometimes, we don’t understand why we have to go through some really dark days in our lives. But, the praise that Jesus received when He triumphantly entered Jerusalem allows us to see how God honors faithfulness and uses people to remind us of His love. No matter what circumstance or situations we face, we have to know that the Lord is still working on our behalf, making the mysterious clear and the impossible a reality. In fact, He may, like He did for Jesus, allow us to get some acknowledgments and praises for our faithfulness before we go into the storm.

Remember, the excitement of the Triumphant Entry was followed by capture, beatings and crucifixion. I beLieve that one of the reasons He received their praise was because of what followed the crucifixion…, His resurrection. Whatever situations or circumstances you are challenged with, feel free to give yourself a praise. After the praise and after the crucifixion, there is the resurrection.

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book here.

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