This morning I sat staring blindly out my window. It’s overcast. Noise from the passing traffic on Morris, and the din from my sleep machine in the bedroom were the only sounds I heard, when I was finally aware that I was typing this article. The reverberations of the keystrokes finally broke the silence in my head and the blindness of my eyes. I suddenly wondered… “is anyone out there listening?”
Do you ever have those days when you “wake up” at work and don’t really know how you got there? Obviously you made your way out of bed into the shower, stopped at Starbucks for your favorite brew, and fought the morning traffic. You probably said hello to people when you arrived at the office, but then suddenly, you were at work. Blindly, you went through hours of existence, without conscious thoughts beyond the mechanical processes you’ve done a hundred million times before.
It may have been this way for the thousands of people walking on the road that morning, making their pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover. Scholars say that in the year Jesus was crucified, perhaps as many as one million people would travel to the center of the middle east to celebrate their heritage, make their sacrifices, and worship Yahweh. Jesus and his disciples were among the throng who had come early, deciding to stay in the town called Bethany just a short distance from Jerusalem. After spending the weekend with His close friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Jesus and his troop began their approach to the Holy city.
Along the way the multitude became aware of His presence, and blindly joined the choruses of those around them, like a flash-mob at the local mall, adding their own voices to the words being lifted to the heavens.
Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!
The crowds that day were fulfilling the ancient prophecies regarding how the Messiah who would come into Jerusalem.
I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; we have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
Looking back on this scene, through the open eyes of historical record, and the word of God, we know absolutely, these folks were not reasoning logically. They were not believing in the revelation of Jesus as Savior. They were blindly following the traditional belief that Jesus would come as king of the Jews, deliver them from Roman rule, and re-establish their autonomy as the nation of Israel. They believed Jesus would sit on David’s throne, and rule till the end of time. They blindly sang and waved their tree branches.
Yesterday in worship, I wondered how many people in the room were blindly going through the motions of expected activity for 21st-century worshipers. Our worship team did a great job leading everyone in the room to a place where they “could” worship God in Spirit and in truth. Yet, I found myself wondering how many were doing this. I wasn’t distracted by someone’s pretentious acts, in fact I can honestly say I wasn’t looking around at all. It was just a sense of contemplation, wondering how many in the room were actually present, alert, and reasoning together… and how many were blindly asleep. I pondered whether they woke up during some part of the service and thought “how did I get here?”
Now hear the words of the prophet, and wake from your sleep.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”
Jesus came to seek and to save, those who are lost. He came to wash us clean. He came to make us family. He came, so we might go … and live with Him forever!
Is anyone out there listening?
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