In an airport in Barcelona many years ago, I saw my life flash before my eyes. The airport began to shake hard as a loud rhythmic reverberation enveloped us. This sound was accompanied by an inaudible chanting and it seemed like everyone was running in a frenzied manner toward something that was beyond what we could see. Come to find out, and much to our relief, a renowned soccer celebrity had just arrived. It was not an earthquake! In a country where the sport is revered, the star was being heralded and people were clamoring to catch a glimpse of the famous Rivaldo. When we asked about the commotion, we were regarded with unbelief when it did not register to us who the figure was. My question, “Who is Rivaldo?” was regarded with incredulous looks likened to an accusation of blasphemy.

Now picture this same scene in the early centuries of the Roman Empire. You are living in or visiting Jerusalem for the Jewish celebration of Passover. All of the sudden, there is a frenzied commotion ensuing and people running to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Worker, The Prophet, The Messiah – Jesus of Nazareth. People are taking off their outer garments and laying them down to carpet the way for the coming King of the Jews, who is riding on a donkey colt and headed into town. They are also laying palm branches and reverently, excitedly, joyfully, emotionally crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10) If you didn’t know who this man was, you probably didn’t get out much, because the stories about He and His teachings had spread far and wide.

What would you do in the midst of the maelstrom? Join in the fray? Try to find out more of who this person is? Shrink back, a little afraid and in awe? Pay attention to what this person says and does?

This was the kick-off scene as Jesus of Nazareth entered Jerusalem on the week that is the crux of the Christian faith, Holy Week. People had seen Jesus do radical things: heal the lame, blind, infirmed and those out of their minds. He raised the dead and even forgave sins. He defied the legality of religion and pointed instead to a humble and loving posture of our hearts toward the God who loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son to tell us, and then demonstrate, just how much.

This King, a humble servant-Savior, was expected to overthrow the current oppressive regime. Instead, He came to free us from the bondage of our minds and hearts and the hold those things have on us. He came to show us how valued and valuable we all are. Some recognized that this man was worth fighting a crowd to catch a minute with the Messiah. Do we fight that hard to spend time with Him? Do we recognize Jesus for the Messiah He is instead of trying to fit Him into what our finite and fallible minds want Him to be?

Through Jesus the Christ, we have victory. Victory over anything that keeps us from experiencing Him, both now, and for eternity. Let’s fight to get close to this Bright Morning Star (Rev 22:16) who not only came to us then, but is coming again. Here He comes! Let’s be ready!

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