The Triumph of Praise
"Then, as He [Jesus] was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:37-38)
What a day of triumph the original Palm Sunday was...but not for the reasons that many of the multitudes in Israel thought. The Jewish expectation at that time was for their coming Messiah to overthrow the Roman empire and to re-establish the royal dynasty of David. But instead Jesus came riding lowly on a donkey with only one thing on HIs mind and in His heart - to die in our place to save us from our sins to reconcile us to God.
Jesus, the great miracle worker, was coming back into the City of David during the week of Passover to rescue us from our bondage to sin. He knew that this was the most important battle to fight and His sacrifice of shedding His blood would mean our victory.
The promised Messiah was making His final entrance into the city of peace as the prince of peace to bring lasting peace to all mankind. But the multitudes and even the disciples were not fully aware of the significance and relevance of this day.
But God knew WHAT He was doing and WHY He was doing it and WHO He was doing it for. He sent two of His disciples on a mission to loose a donkey that was tied up for this very purpose. Little did they realize that this was the beginning of a fulfilled prophecy in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey."
Everything was foreordained by God...from the timing of the Messiah being openly recognized to this anonymous donkey that was quietly tied up awaiting for Jesus to ride on it for the first time. Our Lord always goes before us and orchestrates things that He desires to do. May we learn to be like those disciples who went BEING SENT to participate with the Lord on the mission God had for them. Similarly, there are many souls in our world who are bound up waiting to be loosed because the Lord has need of them. Let us be as obedient as those two disciples and as surrendered as that little donkey!
As Paul the Apostle taught the brethren, "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place" (2 Cor. 2:14)
As Jesus descended on the newly trained donkey, the response of all the people suddenly erupted into praise and worship. It was a glorious glimpse of the way things ought to be as those who had breath were praising the Lord! The crowds began to wave palm branches and put their cloaks on the ground, something usually done for kings or those in prominent positions of power alone. This was a rare time where Jesus allowed Himself to be publicly praised and worshiped by the masses.
Praising God is the evidence of authenticity for the true believer and helps others to see the goodness of God and how trustworthy He is before the answer comes!
There are two parts to praise that we must learn in our experience. First, the praise that comes BEFORE any triumph can be seen and, second, the one that comes AFTER the victory or the answer has come. The former is sadly the most forgotten. Let us learn to enter into the triumph of praise to the One who still saves now - "Hosanna in the Highest!"
"Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 106:47-48)
For if we do not worship as His living stones, then the dead rocks will have to cry out!
- Do you make it a daily habit to lift up your voice and sing praises to the Lord?
- When you are not expressing or exhaling any praise outwardly, do you have the internal meditation of thinking upon that which is praiseworthy (Phil. 4:9)?
- How can you resolve in your heart now to praise the Lord in an area of your life where you are still waiting for an answer to come?