He Will Be Praised

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This Sunday is Palm Sunday.  Hard to believe how fast this year is going by isn’t it? If you’re tracking along with me in the New Testament, then today we’re reading Luke 19. This is the passage where we find Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This event is huge. It announces his position as King, it marks a transition from his work as Prophet, and it shines a light as Jesus stands as our Priest and sacrifices himself for our sins. You know the story. Jesus tells his disciples to get him a donkey. He comes riding into Jerusalem, and people are laying palm branches before him and praising him. I want to pick up there and look at one small element of the story.

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, [38] saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” [39] And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” [40] He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Luke 19:37-40 ESV

This last sentence captured my attention in a fresh way this morning. “If these [people] were silent, the very stones would cry out.” I have always thought of this passage more like a warning. Like, “Look out, if you don’t praise God the rocks will.” I guess that’s true. But there are two things that this verse implies that are a bit more relevant to us.

First, Jesus tells us the inevitability of his exaltation. (Sorry, that just sounded too good not to say.) Jesus tells us that no matter what, he will be praised. He is so powerful, so majestic, so holy, that when he walks upon the ground as King, the earth will shout. Of course, this isn’t new. The Psalmist tells us that right now “the heavens declare the glory of God.” Oh, the majesty of our King! He does not go around hinting at his successes desperately hoping someone will say an approving word. Our King is not a needy school boy hoping to be affirmed. He is creator and sustainer. By his power, even the rocks could cry out and declare the majesty of his great name. Which brings us to our second truth.

I have a confession before I can share this second truth. I woke up this morning with exactly 0 desire to praise Jesus. I was tired. I was a little grumpy. I had a dozen and half things on my mind and not one of them was Jesus Christ. Yet I am reminded that in the cross of Jesus there is power for my cold stoney heart to be turned to flesh. In fact long before Jesus’ triumphal entry, God made this promise to his people: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ez 36:26 ESV)” Every Sunday morning, we lift up our voices to sing praises to our King. And you know what? The rocks are singing. Or at least they might as well be. Jesus has interacted with our hearts of stone in such a way that we can do nothing but lift up our hearts in praise to him. This is why I have to get up and spend time with Jesus in his word and in prayer every morning. I need his presence to turn my heart towards him again. I need the miracle of a singing rock every day in my heart. This morning, lift up your heart in praise to him knowing that it is only by his power that his glory has shone so brightly into your heart (2 Cor. 4:6). Rejoice that he has given himself to you in such a way that you have been transformed from a stone, to a God worshiper.

Daily Reading: Today’s bible reading is Luke 19.  

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