I feel ashamed of the confession I’m about to release. I’ve never been one to observe Palm Sunday, Passover and Easter. Not that I ignored it and pushed it out of existence in my life, but because when I was eleven years old, my middle brother who was seventeen years old at the time, drowned on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1973. It was a tragedy that changed my family’s life instantly and ever since, Easter has always been a reminder of that dreadful day to me. Today isn’t Easter but it’s coming and I’ve already begun that familiar mental reenactment. But I have asked God to help me and give me strength to remember the real meaning of these days and so far He has been faithful in helping me.
At 3:30 this morning, God woke me from my sleep, yet again. Seemingly, it’s becoming a thing between He and I. But quite honestly, I am digging this bond between us and look forward to His revelations He shares with me. Maybe I should just stay up and save Him the trouble, but what fun is that? After awaking me, He took me to Zechariah 9:9. If you know anything about the Bible, you know that Zechariah is part of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Chapter 9 verse 9 reads; “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
To many, this may not seem much, but to me, it means everything. When Jesus went into Jerusalem, He usually went to celebrate the feasts and He visited quite often. But His last visit was paramount and had/has a very special meaning attached to it. Early this morning, God showed me the fronds of a palm tree. In what I was seeing, I saw many hands waving these branches which was a mark of the people rejoicing and then laying them on the street as if a red carpet was being rolled out before Jesus as He rode in. People were shouting loudly, “Hosanna!” In the Bible days, war waging kings arrived on horses but Jesus asked His disciples to get Him a donkey. He was not riding into Jerusalem to wage war or as a war hero, He was coming in as a humble King of peace. Jesus was being celebrated by the people for raising Lazarus from the dead therefore hailing Him King of the Jews.
I began to question God and try to understand what He wanted me to understand to the best of my understanding but that’s when I din’t hear from Him again. sometimes I become frustrated when He leaves me hanging like that, but I have learned from these experiences before, that He gave me a mind to think for myself and that what I needed to know would soon be understood.
I asked myself, “what if Jesus was riding into my city? What would I do? What if He came now during this plague our world is facing, what would I do? Tears filled my eyes because firstly the donkey to me and by nature is a stubborn animal like most of us humans are which is why the word “jackass” is a popular name some call each other, which is also another name for a donkey. I thought about Jesus going into Jerusalem on this final time. It was near the end of Israel’s 400 years of slavery in Egypt. It also commemorates the date the Israelite’s past through the Red Sea when God redeemed them from slavery meaning that during Passover which we are in now, has always represented a transformative event and is celebrated every year. Also, this was Christ’s final week of life on earth as He was about to face unheard suffering, crucifixion, then resurrection. I still could not come up with something substantial to what God was teaching me.
I continued to dwell on the events of Christ during that time and I thought about the plagues during Passover. The last and final plague was the most disturbing and shows that God gets our attention one way or another. Plagues were sent to the land of Egypt because of their great sins especially their worship of creation rather than the Creator. God is firm when He says. we must not have any other Gods before Him. God made clear He alone IS GOD! I went through the plagues, the Nile River being turned into blood, frogs filling the land. Masses of gnats, flies swarming over the people and just one fly is enough to drive you nuts. Then the disease of the farm animals and people breaking out in boils and blisters. The sky became black as it was filled with locusts and it became dark for three days, the worst storm ever in Egypt.
God was giving the people ample time to listen to Him, some did but Pharaoh refused. So God was about to unleash the most dreaded plague of all after Moses gave His last and final warning. I cannot imagine the hearts of the parents who were about to face their biggest nightmare. The final plague would bring Egypt to her Knees and bring chaos they had never known. God was about to judge the Egyptians by sending the death angels throughout that land to take the lives of every firstborn human and animal. The Israelite’s were instructed to slaughter a lamb that evening and paint the post of the door above and on the sides with the lamb’s blood. If the angels passed by and the blood was not applied, the firstborn would die. That night, wailing was heard throughout Egypt.
It hit me! Here we are in the middle of the worst event we’ve ever faced, not just in America, but globally. We refused to listen to God in the past. We’ve taken Him out of everything and deemed him a mere fable. This Passover, Jesus is among us and He has entered with His peace that passes all understanding He comes humbly to remind us that our Father God comes to bring judgement for our great sins. But God is merciful and will extend mercy to those who believe as He extended mercy to the Israelites. This Covid-19 is serious! Within it are not only sickness and death, but forced business closures and financial markets coming to a halt and an unprecedented panic. I do not want to presume God’s intention at all during our time of distress, but I read between the lines. Murdered babies, sexual preferences not ordained by God we have replaced God’s word with our own word making everything acceptable and making it legal and right. God has EVERY right to judge mankind, His own creation. I believe God is showing me that we should ready ourselves for Him to transform us from our old ways of being.
God is merciful and God is still in control! He is with us and I believe He will clean up the hearts of man. This is personal to me because of the situation I am in at the moment. So, what would I do if I saw Jesus riding into my city? I don’t have palm branches, but I do have my two arms and I would run to Him and shout, Hosanna , Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! I would find my own donkey and without arrogance spread the gospel of Christ with humility in service to God. Therefore, I now understand what I was supposed to understand, this is not about us at all. It’s about the One who created us and He will clean His planet from everything ugly and impure. He is just to give us this time to rest and to think about what life is really about. We always resort back to our given ability to love and help one another. He is taking away that which has taken over our lives and destroyed families and bringing restoration. The transformation is coming…..