Lord, I believe You are the King of Israel. Hosanna in the highest!
Read John 12:12–19
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:
15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”
16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26). Jesus the Servant King invites you to follow him. Offer once again your life as an act of worship.
It would seem odd if, at Christmas, the first present you unwrapped was an Easter egg! The symbol of Easter clashes with the symbols of Christmas. That, however, is what John does for us here. Jesus has just told us about his imminent death, and John has told us about the leaders’ plotting. Yet now he arrives at Jerusalem in triumph and popular acclaim.
It is unclear whether the pilgrim crowd has come from Galilee in the north
or Judea in the south or is a mixture of the two, but their language is
unmistakable. Although they are here to celebrate Passover, the feast of the liberation of God’s people from slavery and the beginning of the journey into the Promised Land, they take up the symbolism of the winter festival Hanukkah. This celebrated the coming of Judas Maccabeus, who defeated the Greeks in 164 B.C., cleansed the temple and, for a brief period, restored Jewish freedom. This is how they welcome Jesus, and of all the gospel accounts John most meticulously records their recognition of Jesus as “the king of Israel!” (13).
Jesus’ rule as King and his suffering and death for the people are conflicting themes to bind together, so perhaps it is not surprising that the disciples only understood it after his death and resurrection (16). Yet the hints are already there in the prophecy of Zechariah: this king comes not on a warhorse as a conquering hero, but on a donkey as a humble servant (Zech. 9:9). The crowd is drawn to him through the testimony of those who witnessed his love and power on behalf of Lazarus. It seems for a moment as if the whole world that he created (John 1:10) and which he loved (John 3:16) is recognizing him.
In what areas of your life do you need to allow Jesus to reign more fully? In what areas do you need to allow Jesus to serve you more?
Lord, Your consummate humility serves as a shining example to all of us who consider You our Master.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.