Last week, we kicked off our brand new series titled Crossroads with a look at the decisions and challenges we have in our current world.
Today, we kick off a Holy Week series that bridges the gap between the crossroads we find ourselves at and the beauty of what Jesus did on the cross for you and me.
Our world is noisy. We get an email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube pings, and don’t forget to post your TikTok video, or you will be left behind. When do we have time to sit and talk with God or listen to His voice?
I don’t say this as an indictment, but as the reality that we find ourselves in right now. And I say this to myself as much as I am saying it to anyone listening to this episode.
Why Are We Talking About Noise?
Noise can be either good or bad. Good noise is all those people cheering for you and having your back. They are in your corner telling you how good you are doing. And they are the voice of reason when you can’t make sense of all the inputs coming at you.
The bad noise is all of the inputs coming at you that distract from the things you need to get done. These distractions can come in the form of media, hurtful words, manipulative actions disguised as support or praise, or backhanded compliments.
When we think about all the noisy inputs coming at us throughout our day, week, or year, how do we hear the voice of God?
The road to the cross begins at a crossroads of sorts. It begins with Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. For three years, Christ had walked among the people of the region. He had healed the sick, cast out demons, challenged the religious leaders of the day, and fed thousands of people.
Jesus was able to do all these things because He would periodically escape and commune with His Father. When the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray, He taught them using this prayer guide:
“Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” – Luke 11:2-4
Since Jesus was fully human and fully Devine, He used prayer to commune with His Father. Even though He was sinless, it doesn’t mean He did not struggle. Tomorrow we will look at the temptations Christ experienced in the wilderness before His earthly ministry began.
Shouts of Praise
Jesus knew His time on this earth was coming to a close, and one day, people would shout and praise His name, and the next, they would want to crucify Him.
Let’s look at the shouts of praise that Christ would hear as He entered Jerusalem. However, Jesus needed a ride into town, so he sent two of his disciples into town for one.
“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.” – Luke 19:30
Imagine for a moment you are one of the disciples tasked with going to get the colt for Jesus. You have been one of the chosen twelve for the past three years. You saw Jesus perform miracles, curse fig-trees, and raise people from the dead, but sometimes you might still wonder how He predicts things so perfectly.
You head into town, and there is that colt tied up just as Jesus said it would be. And just as you untie it and begin guiding it out of the stable or place where it was tied up, the owner comes flying out of the house and asks what you are doing.
“They replied, ‘The Lord needs it.’” – Luke 19:34
The owner lets it go without any fanfare or without any resistance; why is this? It was the power of the Holy Spirit working in the situation to fulfill prophesies, and because Jesus’ reputation proceeded him.
The disciples return with the colt, and Jesus jumps on, and they head to Jerusalem. As Jesus approaches, people see Him coming. They run towards Him and ahead of Him.
They grab palm branches and begin to wave them as well as lay them on the ground creating a blanket of green for the colt to walk on.
The people shout,
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” – Luke 19:38
Today, they shout praises towards Jesus, but those praises will turn into words of anger in a few short days.
Jesus did many acts of kindness and service for the His people. Some people recognized Him and turned towards Him, while others fought Him.
I want to challenge you this week. Each day, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your journey and your crossroads. As the world feeds you noise, look for ways to cut out some of it so you can begin to hear God more clearly.
Are you at a crossroads right now? Are you asking God to show you which road to take, and He is silent?
Are you praising His name because He answers most of your prayers?
Are you angry with God because He doesn’t seem to be there when you need Him to be there?
No matter where you are, I encourage you to sit for a few minutes and ask God to show you one thing that you can praise Him for.
It might be a kind word from a stranger or colleague. It could be a parent or sibling having a good day. My prayer for you is God would reveal Himself to you in a new way today, and He would meet you where you are.
Lord, thank you for your work in our lives to draw us to you and draw us closer to you. Thank you for the work you did on the cross, and may we praise you today for being a God that sees us, hears us, and restores us. You are the creator of the universe, and I ask you to reveal yourself to us in the quietness of our hearts today. Amen!
- Holy Week 2021 series
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