29. LET US BE JOYFUL

THE ‘LET’ OF JESUS IN HOLY WEEK
March 28th (PALM SUNDAY)

Read Luke 19:35-42.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.
Psalm 5:11 (NRSV)

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Psalm 51:8 (NRSV)

But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy.
Psalm 68:3 (NRSV)

As we enter into Holy Week, our inspiration focuses on the Lets of Jesus. We will look at the incredible ways Jesus let God’s will be done – as he approached the cross of Good Friday.

The events of Palm Sunday are perplexing, aren’t they? We begin to envision this day as one of great joy and victory for this lowly king, as the people welcoming his entry into Jerusalem praise him with palm branches and strewn cloaks. Then we remember that Jesus knows the rest of the story. He has already told his followers several times what was to come. And in verses 41-42, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, for he sees how the people are missing his purpose and the “things that make for peace.” This day encompasses so much of what is in store for us this week – as we move between joy and sorrow, praise and lament, hope and despair.

But on this day, Jesus chooses to let the people be joyful. Jesus accepts the joy of his triumphal entry even as he knows that terrible days are coming. Sometimes I wonder if this day was a gift for him, as saw how the grateful crowd had been touched by his love, his teaching, his healing; their adoration could confirm that his life had been worthwhile, that he had blessed God and done all he could. And yet, knowing Jesus, we understand that this procession was not about his glory or recognition, but about giving his people a time to hope, to be joyful, and to celebrate. He brought them joy and he received their joy during this one momentous occasion. He let them be joyful.

Jesus does the same for us today. He wants to give us us an abiding joy for all of life. Jesus promised his disciples – and he promises us – his constant companionship and the joy that comes from our relationship with him:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. ~ John 15:9-11 (NRSV)

We know what the future days hold for Jesus. But in this present moment, may we find joy and gratitude for all he has done in our hearts and lives. We do not know everything our future holds. But we do know that Jesus will remain with us, share his love, and bring our joy. Let us be joyful!

~~~~~

May our praises ring out today, as we stand in the presence of Christ – the One who brings our joy, shares our joy, and is our reason for joy – today and every day.

~~~~~

Our reading for tomorrow will be Mark 14:1-9.

Photo by Levi Hernández on Unsplash

Bible verses found at https://classic.biblegateway.com

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