“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”“ (Luke 19:37-40, NIV)
Holy Week begins Sunday with what we traditionally call “Palm Sunday,” Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Matthew adds that the crowd waving palm branches was shouting “Hosanna,” a Hebrew word that means “save.”
I wonder what was going through the minds of those in the crowds. Some were certainly expecting a military king like David, who would defeat Israel’s enemies. Others, as we see above, were excited about the miracles they had seen and were crying out for peace. In other words, some in the crowd had a better understanding of Jesus’ kingdom than others.
But whether they fully understood or not, there they were…and they were shouting praises.
I love Jesus’ response to the Pharisees: “I can tell them to be quiet, but then the rocks would shout praise.” True. But that’s not what a rock was made for. God made rocks to form mountains or build buildings, bridges, roads and homes. He made you and me for the express purpose of shouting praises to Him.
So it begs the question…where are you in the crowd? The good news is you don’t have to have perfect theology – so long as you’re giving God praise. In your life, are you waving palm branches for Him? Are you laying them at his feet? Are you shouting Hosanna? Or are you watching from afar, maybe sitting under palm branches drinking a pina colada? Don’t let a rock do your job! Open the gates of your heart and give him a triumphal entrance into your life! Shout his praise!