I waved a palm on Sunday.
Placed in golden windows, backlit by the sun, palms lined our church on both sides as we walked the aisle to worship Jesus, the Savior of our souls—and our world . . .
Nineteen years ago, I stood on the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus stood many times. I touched the very trees Jesus knelt among as he wept in agony, praying the night he was betrayed and arrested—the night before he would be crucified by his own.
Days before, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, the holy city he loves. He wept because so many rejected him as the Savior of their souls. He wept because their rejection would mean their destruction. The wages of sin is death.
So he ordered the donkey—a colt—and he rode that humble beast as prophesied hundreds of years before. He rode from the Mount, down and through the Valley, up through the gate, right into Jerusalem, his beloved city.
He knew we would need to come down from our mounts, down through our valleys, before we would accept Him as Savior, and rise again with Him as Lord.
As he rode toward Jerusalem, the road covered with cloaks, people waving their palms, shouting “Hosanna!”—“Save, now!”—
Hearts were divided.
Some knew their need to be saved from their sins. Others wanted to keep their power and prestige and be set free from Roman rule. Both groups were looking for a savior. Both groups were looking for peace.
We still are.
When some realized Jesus was on a road different than the one they had hoped, they dropped their palms and raised their fists. “Hosanna!” turned to “Crucify!”
How fickle the human heart when we don’t get what we want—what we think we need.
We still live in a world of oppression, inside ourselves and out. We still need a savior. And we’re still looking for one . . .
We have advanced ourselves technologically to the point where world-wide annihilation could occur with a couple button pushes.
More than ever before in history, we want to stand and wave our palm branches and shout “Hosanna!” “Save, now!”
We know we’re on the brink. We sense a storm forming.
Even Hollywood has its fingers on our communal pulse. Forty years ago, futuristic movies were utopian. Now they’re mostly apocalyptic.
So we deal with our fears on the screens of our lives to calm the screams of our hearts. We want to entertain possible ways to survive our own self-destruction.
We leave our theatres and go on with our lives. Yet, we still feeling the rumblings, the cracking. We’re still hoping.
We raise leaders like palms to quell our existential angst.
“Hosanna!” “Save, now!” we tell them.
But there will be no outer peace until there is inner peace. There will be no outer saving until there is inner saving.
First things first.
It’s time to give up our human delusions of grandeur.
We can’t save ourselves OR our world.
Salvation requires perfection.
We’re just not “good enough”. Never will be. Not on our own.
It’s time I wave that palm branch in front of my own eyes and shout “Hosanna!”—“Save me NOW!”—and look to the only one who CAN save me—and you—and the whole wide world.
Do we get it yet, after thousands of years?
Are we any different from the outer-focused palm-wavers back then?
They didn’t see their own inner oppression—their own inner demons and tyrants. They didn’t see their own split souls.
He knew that there would be no outer salvation without inner salvation.
First things first.
Peace comes from being set free on the inside—being restored to relationship with Him who IS peace—coming to the realization that our way of living doesn’t work when our ways do not align with HIS ways.
We can’t have true life when we insist on a divided life.
And we can’t have true life with God without JESUS—without accepting His salvation and following His way of living.
It’s just that simple.
But it’s complicated.
We won’t tolerate intolerance anymore.
We are self-poisoning on relativity, rejecting exclusivity, paving our own individual paths as our own individual gods.
It’s time to pull down our fists and raise our palms.
It’s time for the world to stop crucifying Christ and ask Him to save, now.
A time is coming . . .
Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess . . .
That Jesus Christ is Lord.
Only Jesus saves.
No terror is strong enough to conquer a soul saved by Jesus.
No “Red Sea” will drown out His truth.
No matter what happens.
Our souls are secure in Him, now and forever.
Let Him reign inwardly.
First things first.
He came as Savior.
He’s coming again as Lord of lords—King of kings—and His kingdom will have no end. Every tear He will wipe as He rules in perfect love and righteousness.
That’s something we can celebrate.
That’s something we can shout about.
Come again, Lord Jesus!