Sunday, April 17, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - I Love A Parade

I was so excited.

I had stayed up all night, camped out on the street, and it was just moments before the beginning of…

The Tournament of Roses Parade!

This is a beautiful parade that happens every year on January 1st. And it's quite a spectacle to watch on TV. But, let me tell you, being there in person is another thing entirely!

It's hard to explain the excitement of the people, the sounds and smells, the beauty of the floats with their myriad rainbows of colorful seeds and flowers. I stayed out with a group from church just once in college. But I'm so glad that I did. It was memorable…

I was reminded of that beautiful morning because today is Palm Sunday. The day of Jesus' triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem.

Picture yourself theresurrounded by people from all walks of life. It was the beginning of Holy Week, and the roads into Jerusalem were thronging with pilgrims. Can you hear the many voices of the crowd – murmuring or laughing, talking excitedly among themselves? Are you jostled along with the animals, stopping here and there for a bite to eat? Can you see and smell the surrounding countryside?

Can you imagine the anticipation in the crowd when they heard that Jesus – whom many believed was the long-awaited Messiah, the Promised One who would deliver their nationwas arriving in the Holy City?

"Where is He?"

"He’s just up ahead."

"Is He coming this way?"


People scrambled for position (just like we did on that parade route) – trying to get the best vantage point to see – to see HIM!

He enters on a donkey – and people push and shove to throw their cloaks on the road ahead of Him. Palm branches are waved and strewn about in honor of the approaching King. Jesus was the center of the procession, and the people all around Him were shouting:

"Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Praise God in highest heaven!"

It's one thing to read about it in the Bible – being there in person must have been another thing entirely!

And then – less than one week later – Jesus was hanging on a criminal’s cross.

Anticipation – then incredible, dashing hopelessness…

The anguished cry echoed in every heart – WHY?

Today's "Bible Pick ‘Ems" sheds light – because it tells us what the Light of the World did on that day:

"You lived in this world without God, and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall that separated us…Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross…Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us." (Ephesians 2:12-14, 16, 18)

The Prince of Peace arrived that day – not the conquering king, but the Suffering Servant.

The One who brought hope to all the peoples of the earth.

The One who still does…

"Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
Yet he is humble, riding on a donkey…
His realm will stretch from sea to sea and…to the ends of the earth."
(Zechariah 9:9-10)

Bless the One who comes in the name of the LORD!!

"When in doubt, search God out!"


  1. I get the chills just thinking about all the excitement that was going on.

  2. I went to the Rose Parade many many years ago (way back in the 50s) and some years we went to a park after the parade was over and saw all the beautiful floats parked there. It's very exciting but it would have been so much more exciting to see the promised Messiah. What a thrill it must have been. I love your description. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It is neat to see the Rose Parade in person, isn't it Sharon? My mom and me did it once years ago and you are right, seeing it in person is so much more different than seeing it on the TV.

    I often wonder if I was living at the time Jesus walked the earth, how would I react to the goings on. I would hope I'd be right there honoring him on Palm Sunday and not being one of those saying "crucify him" a few short days later. I'm thinking there were some people that truly got it of who Jesus was and that he was the fulfillment of what was promised by God so many years before; people faithful studying the scriptures and making a connection that perhaps Jesus truly was the one. So you wonder if there were a faithful few like that, their true excitement when they heard the news that he had been raised from the dead. I think for me it is always a good reminder to be studying the scriptures because one day again he will come victorious for his bride!!! (now that gives me goosebumps awaiting that day!!!)

    One thing I love when I read in the gospels about Jesus' final week here on earth, is his resolution and his determination to carry out what he was sent to do. He went to Jerusalem, he went out to meet those who came to arrest him, he didn't hide, he didn't run away. He knew he was it; the only chance to reconcile us to his father through the shedding of his blood for our sins and he did not waiver from that. What an amazing Savior he truly is!!!


  4. It must have been an incredible, joyful day! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! I am filled with joy at His coming, and filled with humbleness and awe at His sacrifice. We are truly blessed by our Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Blessings to you, Sharon!

  5. Our King is riding past. What a joyful moment. Only to die for us a few days later. Our King, our sacrifice, our entrance to eternal joy.

    To feel the excitement in the same way as I have felt the excitement of the Rose Parade as well would be wonderful! And some day it will be so.

    Your zeal for the Lord is evident!

    Blessings during Holy Week,

  6. Beautifully written, Sharon! I wish I could have seen it before church yesterday. I love the version that you used, particularly for the Ephesians passage. What is that? Or maybe it's just that you put specific verses together that I liked.

    Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!

  7. Do you ever think if you were there - what you would have done - seeing Jesus on the donkey and then seeing him in so much trouble - would we have spoken on his behalf - I guess it is hard to say without knowing the whole picture.

  8. Now and then God pulls back and leaves us in the dark and the desert to create a hunger and thirst for him.

    Gregg Metcalf
    Colossians 1:28-29

    Gospel-driven Disciples

  9. Ginger - Yes, it was an exciting time! It was interesting for me to really try to picture it in my mind! Jesus Himself, entering the city...what a sight!!

    Charlotte - I remember going to the park later for a close-up view of the floats, too! But you're so right - that day in Jerusalem must have been a real sight to behold! The Messiah Himself - oh, what glory!

    Betty - Yes, it is neat to see the parade in person! I loved everything about your comment. I have also wondered if I would have been one of those who recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah. I'd like to think that I would have been. And then, can you imagine the depths of despair when He actually died? But!! Easter morning - hallelujah! Yes, Jesus was resolutely committed to His mission - His Father's purpose. Did He think of us when He went to the cross? I can never thank Him enough for what He did...

    Joan - Oh, amen to all that you said!! Glory to the One who sits at the right hand of God - Holy is the Lamb! Blessings to you this wonder-full Holy Week, Joan! Praising Jesus right along with you!!

    Janis - I like how you called Jesus our "entrance to eternal joy" - He is our Key to the Kingdom! And yes, as you have said, if this triumphal entry was great, can we even imagine what a celebration we have ahead of us?! Blessings to you and yours, too.

    Debbie - I used the New Living Translation. Sometimes, I just like the simpler language, and the way it describes things. When you really stop and think what Paul is saying here, it's so completely revolutionary, isn't it? Joining the Jews and Gentiles together? Bringing reconciliation with God - forever? There is none other more blessed than our loving Savior!

    Sandie - As I said to Betty above, I often wonder how I would have reacted to all that happened during the last week of Jesus' life. I'd like to think that I would have spoken on his behalf - but, I'm afraid I might have been a bit like Peter - scared. But then, sometimes, I picture the resurrected Jesus appearing to me like he did to Mary - and I'm pretty sure I would have fallen to my knees and cried out, "Master!! You are risen - you are risen indeed!"

    Gregg - Yes, He does. And yet, even in the darkest night, the Light of the World still shines!! I hunger and thirst for Him, too -



"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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