Read the four accounts of Jesus coming into Jerusalem. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19.
Today marks the start of the week we call Holy Week, it’s the start of Jesus’ journey to the cross and by now, having almost finished Lent, we should be spiritually preparing for Easter.
Hopefully you just read all 4 accounts of Jesus’ entrance, but if not, go and read them now. The thing that stood out to me most in all four passages was the fact that this crowd of onlookers shouted and praised God in loud voices and it reminded me of the reason we do Lent.
About 5 weeks ago we were on mission in Portadown and I was preparing to use a video by a guy called Jon Jorgenson (check him out, he’s class!) called ‘Everything you need to know before Lent’ in the classes in the junior high schools. There were two things that really stuck out to me from this video and that I remembered as I was reading the four accounts. The first was this.
“The fasting portion of lent means removing something to make room for the one thing.”
Now I would say there’s probably a lot of us out there who started lent really well and kept it going for a good while, but in the past few weeks have let it slip especially with everything that’s going on at the minute. And that’s okay. But the second thing was this.
Jon set us the challenge to “pursue God like never before so we can celebrate him like never before”
I don’t know about you, but when I read the four accounts, the one thing that stood out was the immense celebration and joy of these people. But they didn’t have lent, so why, in just one more week, should our celebration not be just as big, if not bigger. When we remove something from our life in Lent, we’re making room for Jesus. We had the chance to pursue God like never before so that we can celebrate him like never before and the good thing is, we still have that chance, this week we need to be pursuing God like never before. But we can’t hold our joy back now and wait a week, we know that Jesus died and rose again, so let’s celebrate now. Celebrate just like the people of Jerusalem did, but don’t stop. They might have changed their attitudes and started shouting “Crucify him” later in the week, but we won’t. We can celebrate now that Jesus has come to take away our sins and bring us ultimately closer to God, but we also need to pursue him like never before this week. Spending time in his presence and preparing our hearts for the continuation of our celebration next Sunday.
This week as we continue to pursue God, think about these lyrics:
“This is the art of celebration
Knowing we’re free from condemnation
Oh praise the One, praise the One
Who made an end to all my sin”
Boldly I Approach (The Art of Celebration) – Rend Collective
Come and see what God has done.
(Here’s the video I was talking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAz1cpkkexI)
Question for today: What does celebration look like to you? & How will you pursue God like never before?