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It is officially Holy Week as Palm Sunday was this past Sunday. This is the Sunday when Jesus made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and the crowds threw their cloaks down and palm branches to honor Him. The bible says the crowd shouted in praise and adoration to Jesus crying out:
“Hosanna to the Son of David (Messiah); Blessed [praised, glorified] is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest [heaven]!”
What a beautiful time this was celebrating Jesus. Every year all over we remember and honor Palm Sunday by giving out palm branches as a reminder of this glorious day. But I can’t help but to think ahead leading up to the end of the week, what a difference a few days made. By the end of Holy week, Jesus was standing in front of yet another crowd but He was not the favorable choice this time. No one was shouting out praise and adoration saying Hosanna! Instead Jesus heard “Barabbas” and “let HIM be crucified!” Now this may not have been the same exact crowd of people from the several days before, but where was ANYBODY from Palm Sunday? Nowhere recorded was there any conversation between anyone in the crowd defending Jesus and the “let HIM be crucified” folks that this is the same Jesus the King who they were celebrating just days before. So either Jesus’ supporters were not there, silently afraid, or flat out turned their backs on Him joining with the other voices. Basically we can say those palms from Palm Sunday withered on. Some palms were probably buried in the hot sand. Some palms were probably blown away in the wind. Some of the palms were probably withered up rolling down cobblestone pathways. Some of the withered palms were probably collected with the trash clean up back then from Palm Sunday who knows.
Here I am thinking about this story and I began to ask myself again where were those people to speak up and shout His praises? Then I heard, where are WE TODAY? How many times in a week do our LIVES say “Hosanna in the highest!” and then “let HIM be crucified” the next MOMENT not even days going by in between. Believe it or not we crucify Jesus and choose Barabbas more often than not. Barabbas represents both our flesh and the enemy who is known as a thief. How do we crucify Jesus and choose Barabbas you ask? When we choose to do our flesh feels like doing in act of disobedience to God. When we choose to join and/or accept what the enemy is offering to us (remember he is a thief and he comes to steal to kill and to destroy). AND when we make choices outside the will of God. If Jesus is living inside of you and you choose the way of Barabbas then figuratively you crucify Him again rendering Him ineffective in your life. God does not force Himself on us. He gives us free will to choose Him. We are commanded in his word to crucify our flesh our “Barabbas” NOT JESUS, we are commanded in his word to resist the devil our “Barabbas” NOT JESUS. He already died so that we can live a holy prosperous life in and through Him. He was King then, He is King now, and He will be the reigning King forever.
Let’s stop crucifying Jesus in your daily living. Keep going. Keep pressing on. . Keep the palm of praise fresh and active. Keep watering your palm of praise reminding yourself of what God’s word says about you. Keep watering your palm of praise through communication with the Father (prayer). Keep watering your palm of praise through worship of songs. Keep watering your palm of praise by helping and elevating others. Keep watering your palm of praise by shutting your flesh down. Keep watering your palm of praise by shutting the enemy’s agenda down over your life. STRENGTHEN YOUR PALM keeping it turned and exposed to the SONlight. When you have those “give me Barabbas” choice moments, recognize it, and get yourself back in alignment with Jesus so your life will cry out “Hosanna in the Highest!” He will always have His arms open wide for you. He will never leave nor forsake you. Be encouraged this week to keep your flesh crucified and Jesus glorified in your life daily.
Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
O come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs. For the Lord is a great God And a great King above all gods,
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
O praise the Lord, all you nations! Praise Him, all you people! For His lovingkindness prevails over us [and we triumph and overcome through Him], And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name inscribed, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
JESUS! You are the great King and you are Lord. You are clothed in majesty. You are the great I am. Thank you for your brand new mercies every morning. Forgive me for my wrong doing and my off behavior and off thought patterns crucifying you over and over. No more Barabbas choices. I surrender my whole life to you right now. I dethrone my flesh, I dethrone everything dark in my life that I have allowed access and I ENTHRONE ALL of YOU. Jesus take your rightful place on the throne of my heart and come alive in me. My free will makes a choice today to give you in my life. I honor you and I declare my palm of praise will continue to be watered and will go UNWITHERED. I declare no matter what comes my way I will yet praise you. I will be strong in you Lord and in the power of your might. My life will cry Hosanna to the reigning King! My life will cry Hosanna in the Highest! In YOUR name AMEN