Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus-the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God!Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said, “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”
John 12:1-3, 12-15 NLT
Millions of people this week are watching with anticipation as college basketball makes its annual pilgrimage to the Final Four. In the midst of all the excitement of the NCAA tournament, you almost forget that another road to something more “final” than any basketball game is looming before us. The world tends to do that to us.
Jesus was on the road, again; however, this journey would end up in a different place. It was just a few days before the Old Testament prophecy would be fulfilled concerning this Passover moment. Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt, under the leadership of Moses and hand of God.
I wonder if His friends and others gathered knew what lay ahead. I wonder if they knew what He was about to go through to be their Savior.
He was on a journey He would walk all alone. He would be embarrassed, spit upon, whipped, sworn at and mocked. He would face everything in front of Him, all alone, it seemed-as those who would line the sides of the road on that first Palm Sunday as He entered Jerusalem, watched.
We have often found ourselves there-traveling our journey, treacherous, difficult and uncertain-all alone. Or at least it seemed that way. Too many times we’ve looked down a long and winding road stretched out before us, uncertain of where it would lead, but knowing we had to go. Too many times, we’ve found ourselves sitting all alone, walking through life, not sure which way to turn for help, who to trust, let alone who could possibly help.
And then we remember that the stone was rolled away and we remember that the tomb was empty! He was risen! And we remember that we are not alone.
We are never alone.
In the midst of all the stuff of life that overwhelms us at times-knowing we are not alone provides us with the energy, even faint at times, to continue to press on, to punch our heads through the gathering clouds of darkness-knowing that He will provide a way, through whatever we face, into the sunshine of a brand new day.
That’s the message of excitement and hope which is beginning to stir in millions around the world who will gather in a few weeks to embrace again afresh and anew the remembrances of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, leading to the celebration of Easter Sunday.
Enjoy the Road to the Final Four. Embrace it with those who are on that road, as we watch and journey with them.
But don’t forget a much more important road before us in the next few weeks to travel. Embrace that journey all the way to the empty tomb, where you and I will discover again that the stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty.
He is risen and we are never alone!
And that is the final and eternal Hope for all the world.
In His Name–Scott