Sunday, April 1, 2012

There was a Time when Children Sang

Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest! Mark 11:10

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been in the crowd on what we now call Palm Sunday? Things were getting tense in Jerusalem as the rulers were seeking to kill Jesus, thinking He was gaining too much power with the people. Ah, if they only knew.

If they could have only seen them as their King. But He didn't present Himself as a king. A king would ride in on a glorious horse, bedecked with a fine saddle and showy garments. Jesus rode a colt, bedecked with coats.

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’” The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Matthew 21:1-7

Even if the rulers didn't see Jesus as their King, many of the people recognized that Jesus was sent by God. And they praised Him!

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:8-9

Many others didn't even know who Jesus was.

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” John 12:10-11

And still others were there because they had heard about what Jesus had done recently - raised Lazarus from the dead! They wanted to see this man for themselves - see what all the hype was about.

So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. John 12:17-18

This Sunday, this day in Jerusalem, was the beginning of the end of Jesus' earthly life and ministry. It would have been glorious to have joined the rapturous songs of the children, to bless Him with our feeble tongues, as the many in the crowd did that day.

We know what happens next in the story, and we'll focus on that more this week. But let's not forget about the day when the hills of Judah rang with exulting jubilee. These children recognized Jesus as King, and sang out to praise Him. Jesus knew what He was riding into as he entered Jerusalem - I will venture to say that it brought him great joy, encouragement and fortitude to hear the children singing. That same Jesus is on the throne today in heaven, and as this hymn writer says, He loves to hear the notes that His sweet children raise.

Let's not be shy as we sing out our Hosannas to our King! Jesus, teach our hearts and tongues to praise! And may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.

There was a Time when Children Sang
Words by Thomas Taylor

There was a time when children sang
The Savior’s praise with sacred glee,
And all the hills of Judah rang
With their exulting jubilee.

O to have joined their rapturous songs,
And swelled their sweet hosannas high,
And blessed Him with our feeble tongues
As He, the Man of grief, went by!

But Christ is now a glorious king,
And angels in His presence bow;
The humble songs that we can sing,
O will He, can He, hear them now?

He can, He will, He loves to hear
The notes which loving children raise;
Jesus, we come with trembling fear:
O teach our hearts and tongues to praise!

We join the hosts around Thy throne,
Who once, like us, the desert trod;
And thus we make their song our own,
Hosanna to the Son of God!

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