As we celebrated "New Life" in our services for Palm Sunday this past weekend, I had some time to sit back and think of the poignancy of this week and its place in history... and ultimately in eternity.
Then I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and this tweet from Louie Giglio's Instagram (pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta) caught my eye:
Palm Sunday. Thank You, Savior, for not looking for a way out for Yourself, but for determinedly becoming the bridge for us all.
Jesus had a choice. He rode into Jerusalem through throngs of praise and adoration. With the people of the city singing to Him, giving Him glory. . . and they had no knowledge of the where that path of praise was leading Him, but Jesus knew.
We have heard the passages and the sermons on the Garden of Gethsemane and Christ's prayer to the Father to spare of Him of this plight. And we've heard how as a human, He could have walked away that night... but what hit me today is that He could have walked away on Palm Sunday. Before the praise, before the songs, before the crowds bowed before Him, He could have walked away... but He CHOSE to be "the bridge for us all."
As He rode into town that day, He knew the praise and adoration engulfing Him wasn't the beginning of true life, neither was the culmination of His ministry here on Earth, nor getting what He (as the Son of God) finally deserved.
I imagine being one of the disciples that day thinking, "Finally! After all our hard work for this guy and believing in Him, these people finally get it! We've finally arrived. Now we can really get this ministry thing going!" Eh! Wrong answer.
Of course, how often have we walked through the praise and adoration of those around us not even knowing our path was leading towards death... Ok, Christ's path was different than that, but it made me wonder, "How can I think more like Christ?" When those around me are lavishing encouragement and praise my way, I need to remind myself, that true life and my value are not found in these moments, but in the moments where I give away my life. That's real worship.
There's no crime in walking through the good times in life, when people love us and things are going well, but it's our decision to continue on knowing there's a storm ahead and maybe even some things that need to "die" in our lives. Will we continue to praise God and point people to Him in the trials and in the times of glory leading to and from those trials?
That's real worship. That's why we get to celebrate this amazing season and the resurrection of Christ.. because He chose death when life was still good.
-Pastor Andy Gregory