My sisters and brothers:
When the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a three-games to one hole, to win the NBA Championship over the Golden State Warriors, the city of Cleveland erupted in joy. In defeating the defending champion Warriors, LeBron James and his Cavalier teammates brought the first championship to Cleveland in over fifty years. When the team arrived from the championship game in California, the Cleveland Fans gave them a hero’s welcome, including a parade attended by an estimated1.5 million people.
Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Potter – an orthopedic surgeon, who spent the last four months caring for injured service members and Afghan Allies – returned home to a very enthusiastic hero’s welcome. His entire neighborhood in suburban Bethesda, Maryland, threw a block party in his honor.
Collins English Dictionary defines a hero’s welcome as a very enthusiastic reception from a group of people who show their admiration for something exceptional, that a person or group of people have done.
Jesus was given a hero’s welcome as He entered Jerusalem. The Gospel account in Luke 19:36-38 tells us that as Jesus rode along, people in a sign of respect and love, spread their cloaks on the road.
As Jesus started to go “down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!’”
The Cleveland Cavaliers Lieutenant Colonel Potter, and Jesus Christ all richly deserved their heroes’ welcome. However, most of the people who welcomed Jesus that day in Jerusalem, soon turned into a bitter mob, demanding His crucifixion.
What happened to Jesus in Jerusalem – going from hero to the crucified one within the space of a few days – started me to think.
How many times have we given Jesus a hero’s welcome during worship on Sunday morning, and then reject our Lord and Savior on Monday?
How many times have we embraced Jesus when giving godly advice to others, but forget that same advice when it comes to situations in our own lives?
How many times have we given Jesus a hero’s welcome to get us through times of trouble, then all but neglect Him when things are going well?
On this Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, we commemorate Jesus’ passion, love and resurrection. Let us resolve to always give Jesus the hero’s welcome that He so richly deserves.
When we put Jesus first in our lives, we will receive the hero’s welcome of grace, love, power, and the opportunity to obtain the ultimate hero’s welcome of all – everlasting life with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
Have a blessed Holy Week.