A few weeks ago in worship we talked about Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We spent some time looking at how in the midst of that celebration, with everyone shouting with exclamation and waving palm branches, there were still those that approached Jesus and ask that he command his followers to calm down.
That whole idea of “calm down” made me think. Have we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, listened to the comments of this small group and calmed down? Or have we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, continued our celebration? How many times have we subdued our excitement with our faith, so as not to draw attention to ourselves? How many times, have we whispered about our faith, so as not to offend others that might hear? How many times have we hidden our faith, so as not to cause people to think differently about us?
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. This is the day in our liturgical calendar where we mark Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is the moment where throngs of people were glad and even overjoyed to be with Jesus. In contemporary terms, you could even say his approval rating had never been higher. But it is also the beginning of the week where Jesus is arrested, tried, convicted, and executed.
It is easy to mark this Sunday with a bit of tepid excitement. We are excited about Jesus entering Jerusalem, but we know what comes next. That knowledge can cause us to subdue some of our celebration. But let me offer this idea to you. Just as we know what happens to Jesus during Holy Week, we also know what happens to Jesus on Easter. We know Holy Week does not defeat him. We know that Jesus defeats death, pays the price for our sins, and offers us a way to redemption with the Father!
That should be something we can be excited about. That is something we should be excited about! I know this life can bring us down and level us out emotionally. It can sap the joy we have and absolutely bring us to our knees. It can also lull us into an almost catatonic state where there is no sadness, but no joy either.
I encourage you to find your joy in Jesus Christ this week. Then when you find it, grab on to it with both hands. Never be ashamed to celebrate it. Never be weary to talk about it. Never be shy to shout it from the mountain tops. Allow the joy we have in Christ not to be subdued by this life. Hold onto that joy, live into that joy, live out of that joy. Christ celebrates you, so return the favor and celebrate Christ; this day and every day!