Daily Update from Pastor David March 27, 2020
Friday, March 27
Update & Prayer Notes
It is fascinating to me how each gospel writer may record the same story, but add details that enrich our understanding of what actually happened. John adds a few verses to his narrative that directly answer some questions we probably have when we read this story of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
I have always wondered how this was organized. Parades take time and planning. They don’t just happen because some float-builders show up in the same parking lot on the same day of a given week and decide to form a line. Who knew Jesus would be taking that route into Jerusalem on that particular day and at that precise hour? John gives a hint as to how it happened.
17Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18This is also why the crowd met him, because they heard he had done this sign. —John 12:17-18
It wasn’t just the twelve disciples and a few family members who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus. In fact, there had been a big celebration party the night before with Jesus and Lazarus as the guests of honour. And at that dinner the plans of Jesus were, no doubt, communicated. Those who witnessed Lazarus’ resurrection wanted to join the next day’s parade. And the news was so big, they told others, so that a large crowd assembled along the obvious route Jesus would take from Bethany to Jerusalem. They wanted to be the first to welcome the Messiah.
What did the disciples understand as they witnessed this cheering on of Jesus as he entered the Holy City?
16His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. —John 12:16
Apparently not much! Not at the time. Later they would look back and see how God orchestrated this whole thing.
One thing I’m doing is making a list of things I’m thankful for amid the inconvenience and worry of COVID-19. Signs that God is at work and in full control. I was reminded in an e-mail just today that this pandemic may keep us in a level of isolation and solitude for weeks yet, and probably months. My friend named it “Accidental Lent.”
Lent traditionally is a time to remove that which distracts us, to see ourselves in our sinfulness and brokenness. Lent is a time to examine ourselves and turn to God.
This outbreak has placed us in a new world where we are forced to slow down, forced into solitude, and forced to reflect on the fragility of our lives and just how little control we do have, but that God is there. This is the point of Lent. But most of us never slow down and isolate enough to think deeply about the meaning of life and the purpose of Christ’s movement to the cross.
John tells us that he and the other disciples didn’t figure it out until after the resurrection. Is God saying to us that we’ve become too busy and distracted, trading eternal riches temporal treasures, and we need to take time to reflect on Him and His purpose for us?
Even in this time of “Accidental Lent” we can seek distractions. But the opportunity is there, not just for us as individuals, but in our households, to take time and consider Jesus.
Spend time today and this weekend reflecting on Lent: why did Jesus come and how has that changed everything?
“See” you in our service on Sunday.
- Pastor David Booker