Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Triumphal Entry (John 12:12-19)

Hello All,
Today’s poem is yet another composition from our anonymous fellow Christians.
Although Palm Sunday is about 3 weeks away, due to time constraint and other pivotal Biblical events to cover before we culminate to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we will be covering the Bible passage of this widely celebrated event today. 

The Triumphal Entry (John 12:12-19)
(Anonymous, Year 2012)
Lo, traveling for the feast,
Jews gathered all around;
And in their midst the whisper spread,
Jesus would there be found!

“O let us cut down palms,
And go out to the road”
Thus came they singing from the Psalms,
To greet him as he rode.

Crowds soon to curse in shame,
Exalt that Son Roÿal;
“Blessed he comes in our Lord's name,
O King of Israel!”

Upon a donkey rode,
The soon thorn-crownèd head;
Behold, your king comes on a colt,
As Zechariah said.

Fear not ye exiled band,
O daughter of Zion;
Your consolation is at hand,
Your freedom will be won.

Disciples unaware,
Of glory uncontrived,
They soon will know that this was where,
The King foretold arrived.

Lazarus left the grave!
Great witness filled the air!
That all might greet the King who Saves,
His royal way prepare.

Yet Pharisees observed,
And envious, did not sing;
Instead they said with bitter words,
“The world's gone out to him”

Points for Reflection:
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!” (John 12:15)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
·         Again we see another Old Testament prophecy from the prophet Zechariah being fulfilled by Jesus.  Jesus is depicted as the humble shepherd-king who comes to the Holy City, Jerusalem, to take his rightful place.
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13)
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. (Psalm 118:26)
·         By waving palm branches (a Jewish national symbol) the people hailed Jesus as the promised Messiah, the prophesied King descending from the line of King David. Most of the crowd probably understood the title King of Israel in a political and military sense, still hoping that Jesus would use his amazing powers to resist Roman rule and lead the nation to independence.
·         But Jesus’ Kingdom is not an earthly one as most of the Jews expected. He was not like other earthly kings who rode on their gallant horses with pomp and stride. The humble servant King was mounted on a donkey and awaiting his impending death on the cross. His Kingdom is a spiritual and eternal one and the people in this realm are sinners like you and me whom God has brought in through the cross.
For even the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)
How great are his [God’s] signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3)
·         The Jews perceived Jesus as a provider of political and military strength. Who do you perceive Jesus to be? Is he just your problem solver when things go wrong? Is he just your Santa Claus who gives you the goodies of life? Is he just part of the religious compartment of your life? Is he just a God you profess to worship as your parents have been doing all their lives? Or is he the Lord of your whole life? Who is Jesus to you?  
His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. (John 12:16)
·         At that point of time even when the signs were so obvious, the disciples’ eyes were not opened to Jesus’ true identity and his mission to save mankind through the cross.
·         Many of the things Jesus said and did were understood by the disciples only after the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” (John 12:17-19)
·         Jesus’ popularity with the crowd increased greatly after he performed the sign of raising Lazarus from the dead.  The urgency of the religious authorities, such as the Pharisees, to kill Jesus intensified following that sign.
·         After having witnessed Jesus’ authority demonstrated in his miracles and his teachings, instead of acknowledging him as God, the religious authorities felt threatened by him and sought to put him down.   
·         Have you known people who continually refuse to open their hearts to Jesus even though the gospel has been shared with them countless of times? Are you one of those people? If so, I pray with all my heart for God to soften those hardened hearts and open up those blind eyes to Jesus Christ.