Each of the Gospel writers tells us the story of Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is one of the most noteworthy stories and, I believe, one in which we are invited to picture ourselves in the crowd. Ask yourself, “Why are you here in Jerusalem?” Perhaps you were one of the entrepreneurs hoping to gain sales from all who are coming into Jerusalem. You know that many have come to this place, and you too come, hoping for gain. Who might you meet? What connections might you make that will further your business, your family, yourself?
Perhaps you are one of the curious spectators. Is there really something to this guy? Could it possibly be true? Well it certainly wouldn't hurt to see what he has to say, would it?
Are you one of the loyal followers are you anxious to work with Him to be part of His team? Do you believe that this is the one who is really going to bring salvation to the world? Do you want to be a winner, for a change?
How about one of the devoted friends? Do you come to serve His needs? Do you come because He cares about you, and your family? Do you come because you know you don't deserve it, but He sees you for who you really are and loves you just the same?
Or are you a critic? Are you one who finds it hard to believe the claims of Him, that He is the Messiah? Do you think He's crazy? Do you want to see the spectacle that He creates, to see what He will do next? Do you want to be there to catch Him in His own web? Are you there to debunk this masquerader?
As Jesus looks over the crowd He sees each of them, and us, in these roles and others as well. He looks out at them and He has compassion on them. He has planned this entrance. He has orchestrated the details, He is making the statement, and He is watching for our response. And then he weeps!
Read each of the Gospel accounts in Matthew 21:1–11, 14–17, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:29–44 and John: 12:12–19. Picture the story and find yourself in it. Let the story speak to you, and then hear how you respond.
Each of us comes to church in one of these similar roles and we have to ask ourselves "why are we here?" Are we an “entrepreneur” hoping that going to church will further us in our station of life? Are we “curious spectators” wondering what this is all about, and hoping to learn something that will convince us? Are we “loyal followers,” not perfect, brave and courageous but also somewhat fearful? Are we the ones who will once again work our way to a place of understanding and then experience forgiveness? Maybe we are “devoted friends” who do with what little we have to serve him. Maybe we aren't recognized in society as having any worth, maybe we feel we have sinned to greatly to be accepted, but we come just to be near Him. Or are we ”critics” who come to set things straight? Are we so concerned about the rules, in opposition to the actions, that we see as despicable in our world, that we come to get this place right, the right way as we define right to be?
Why are we here? Why am I here? Why are you here? Ask God, and then listen for His answer. Shout “Hosanna” as He rides into your life and look into His eyes as they find you in the crowd. Sync your heart with His that it might beat afresh like never before!