“They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.'” Matthew 21:6-11
On that Palm Sunday, the crowds gave Jesus the rightful welcome of a king. But their words prove they didn’t truly know who this was they were spreading their cloaks and branches for. When asked, they simply reply that Jesus is a prophet from Nazareth.
The crowd reacted from what they had seen, heard, and experienced with Jesus. He had met their needs and healed their diseases. But when He spoke, why didn’t their hearts burn with the truth from heaven? Why didn’t they recognize this to be the Christ?
Fast forward to a scene after the resurrection: “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them, but they were kept from recognizing him.” Luke 24:13-16
Jesus asked them what they were discussing. They basically asked Jesus where he had been that he didn’t know about the happenings of the last few days concerning Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus proceeds to explain everything written about himself in Scripture. Still they did not recognize Jesus.
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.” Luke 24:30-33
These two men reprimanded themselves for not recognizing Jesus in their midst. They were so preoccupied by the circumstances, they missed out on Christ.
Precious brothers and sisters in Christ, I am so guilty of this very thing. How often I have been wallowing so deeply in my circumstances that I miss Jesus right there in the middle of it with me. Every time I read that question from Luke: “Were not our hearts burning within us…?” I can’t help but experience goose bumps crawling up my arms. I can just feel the strong conviction in that question.
On this Palm Sunday let me see Him as He is – the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Salvation. Let me know that in every situation and every moment He is near and guiding me. Let the scales fall off and the Holy Spirit burn in my heart as proof of His loving Presence.