Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you. Isaiah 12:6 (TNIV)
I tried to imagine what it must have been like on that Palm Sunday when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. What made the people so happy and joyful? Was it just that they expected Jesus to free them from the Romans? Did they realize how He would triumph over sin and death? What exactly made them so happy to have Jesus there in Jerusalem?
Then I remembered one trip my husband made for work. He had to travel for two weeks to China. Before he left, I didn’t think it would be that big a deal. I had left him at home for up to four weeks on business trips, and while I missed him when I was on the road, it hadn’t been a gut-wrenching type of loneliness.
But I hadn’t realized how lonely it would be for me without him there, in the house. All the places I was used to seeing him were empty. The things we used to do together were only hollow activities without him. We had often done our own things in separate rooms in the house—I would be working in my office while he watched television—but somehow being in my office wasn’t the same, because I knew he wasn’t in the next room.
When he finally came home, I didn’t spread palm leaves on the floor as he walked into the house, but I did give him a big hug, made his favorite dinner, and talked a mile a minute. I was incredibly happy just to have him there with me. The house felt different when I knew he was home.
I think that is how the Israelites felt as they welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem—they were welcoming Him home.
Faith step: On this Palm Sunday, let’s rejoice the way they did at the fact that Jesus is here with us, in our lives and in our hearts.