Monday, March 25, 2013
Paving the Road
“And most of the crowd spread their garments in the road; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the road. And the crowds that went before him, and that followed, cried out, saying, ‘Hosanna [save now!] to the son of David’” Matthew 21:8.
The scene is powerful and my emotions are stirred as I picture the triumphal entry of Jesus. It is the week leading up to Passover and there are feasts and excitement in the air. The disciples must have been anxious for these anticipated events…their teacher was getting ready to be King…the King they have awaited for so long…the King to bring peace and order to a hurting people. They could feel it in the air…the shift in power was rising. My research shows ‘that spreading garments before a dignitary was a symbol of submission (see 2 Kings 9:13). Palm branches were employed also as token of victory’ (Suetonius, Caligula, 32). There is no doubt that the people who lined the dusty road that day were ready for this new leader. They were moved beyond emotion, removing their outerwear, laying it upon the ground showing their submission to the future king, and claiming victory over the old regime. Their hearts are filled with hope and their adoration was far from misplaced…up ahead they see the new king for the new kingdom…atop that meager colt is their Messiah. They couldn’t have known the horror of what would unfold the following week.
We have the same hope in a future kingdom that they had back then, but the kingdom has been established for us. We live in the earthly shadow of an established heavenly kingdom. We are promised a new city, one with God as the architect (Hebrews 11:10). We have been shown who the King is and the victory that will be ours if we follow along behind Him. How do you pave the road that you share with the Savior? Do you remove the attitudes of the flesh laying it down at His feet? Do you cut the branches of your own will down, covering your life with His will…the One who has already died for us? Like these weary followers, we must humble ourselves and follow Him instead of leading the pack looking for the entrance to life. ‘But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him’ 2 Co. 2:14.
‘And most of the crowd spread their garments…and cut branches…’