Of robes and palm branches

“And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭11‬:‭8‬-‭10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Of robes and palm branches

Reading through Mark chapter eleven this morning, and was reminded of the that books account of Jesus going into Jerusalem. It was the last week of His life on this earth, and even then there was work being done in preparation for what was to come.

“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.”
John 12:12-16 NKJV

Having heard of His coming and people were busy about the work of preparing the way. They lined the road with their clothes, and chopped down palm branches to line the path in which their Savior would enter.

“And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.””
Matthew 21:10-11 NKJV

These were not the elites of the time, but the common people, those who may not have had access to God according to the Pharisees, but on this day they were making away for the Lord, the Word become flesh, to come in. They were giving of themselves, laying down their most basic of possessions, the very clothes for the covering of their flesh, to the Lord.

Those in the elite were bemused about all the fuss, for to them this Jesus was taking worship they felt due them.

“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.””
Luke 19:37-40 NKJV

The week began with the people welcoming the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, but it would end with some of those same people crying out, “crucify him,” for the sinful heart of man is fickle at best. But there were still those who were faithful, who still had the thrill of “Hosanna! ” in their hearts.

Throughout the times since, the Lord has always had those who remained faithful, who sought Him, and made away for Him. These are those who are not driven by the emotion of the moment, but those who have called upon the Lord for salvation. They have been set apart from the world, clothed in the righteousness of God and filled with the Holy Spirit.

We are living in a time when it is more fashionable to cry out against the Lord, than seek Jesus, for in being faithful to Christ, we are exposed to the vileness of the world around us. This world, that is rapidly passing away, is desperately wicked, and militantly bent on going against God in every way possible.

Even the elites revel against those who focus solely on the Lord, for they demand that the worship be of them, and not the God who saved them.

Brothers and sisters, let us not cease to be those who, even against the din of pervasive unrighteousness, shout “Hosanna!”, proclaiming the soon coming of our great King.

He is setting the stage for His return, and we can see all the signs everywhere. The last several years have been increasingly bad, and no one can look at all that is happening and think that anything will ever be “normal” again.

As this world becomes all the more dangerous, I think back to those who laid their robes in the path of the Lord, and the others who took down the palm branches. They provided for themselves an offering to the coming King.

Those of us who have chosen to walk that narrow path have also laid down our robes, and our palm branches, for we have made away for the Lord in our lives. To follow Christ is to make no provision for the flesh, for all that we desire is spiritual. We put side attention to our flesh, to the attention to the Spirit. We, who have been the born again followers of the Lord have made Him our priority.

Many of us have and will pay the price.

There have been many martyrs who have died for the cause of Christ, all of the disciples suffered dearly and nearly all died in the service of the Lord. In the coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps…years, many of us will be faced with the same outcome.

If it is the Lord’s wish, I pray for that outcome for myself. Oh the joy of having the ultimate fellowship with Jesus, knowing His sufferings.

“that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:10-11 NKJV

Those who welcomed the Lord into Jerusalem, and remained faithful will have that resurrection from the dead, where they will stand in glory with Him. Those of us in these last days, who stand fast in the faith, have the promise that in our martyrdom we will stand in glory.

This time we will not be laying down our robes or laying palm leaves to mark the coming of our Lord, but we will receive them, as our bodies, now made glorious, will be robed in eternal righteousness, and the palm branches given us will never fade.

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.””
Revelation 7:9-12 NKJV

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