Cheers, Jeers, Tears, JOY!
The Hebrew people were suffering in Jerusalem. They were under the cruel and oppressive rule of the Romans, just as their ancestors were under the Egyptians (The Book of Exodus). They needed deliverance. The Old Testament Prophet, Zechariah predicted their salvation, he said, “See your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9) This prophecy came to fruition as we read in Matthew 21:1-10. Then the crowds cheered loudly, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Vs 9) This was a plea from a depressed people to their Savior for deliverance.
However, it wasn’t long before these cheers turned to jeers. Jesus was telling the people how they must act and to whom they must follow and it wasn’t the Scribes and Pharisees! This riled the leaders—albeit, self- proclaimed leaders—and they began to conspire Jesus’ arrest and ultimate demise. The people who had cheered for their Savior now jeered Him because of their fear. They became part of the mob who shouted, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”(Matthew 27:22, 23) How easily cheers can become jeers. Soon tears would be running down their cheeks.
It wasn’t long before these same people who cheered when Jesus entered through the gate, began to jeer Him, and fear overtook them. The people watched their Savior as He was nailed to the cross and died before their eyes. They realized that they had failed to recognize their God. They had allowed “fear” to be their god. Their eyes welled up with tears and spilled over and ran down their cheeks. Their hearts sank. Still God said, “Be strong and courageous”( 2 Chronicles 32:7). God had a plan and He had vowed to “never leave His people or forsake them,” (Deuteronomy 31:8) Also, on more than one occasion He said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged.” In fact, it is repeated 365 times through-out the Bible! Yet we do not listen.
But, as I said, God has a plan and He wasn’t defeated. At the end of the cheers, jeers, and tears came joy. The Psalmist writes,” …there is joy in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
The morning after Jesus was carried and laid in the tomb, the women came to anoint His body. They stopped short when they discovered the huge stone had been rolled away from the entrance. They looked in and what did they see? NOTHING! IT WAS EMPTY! When the guards who were sleeping outside the tomb awoke, they were overtaken by fear and stood like dead men. But, an angel of the Lord appeared to the women. The angel told them not to be afraid for Jesus had risen! (Matthew 28:1ff) “Go and tell the others,” The angel said.
As they were running to tell the others the good news, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Good morning.” The women fell down and grabbed His feet and worshipped Him. Jesus simply said to them, “Do not be afraid…Tell My disciples to go to Galilee and there they will see Me.” Joy came in the morning! Do not be afraid. At the end of the cheers, jeers, and tears, there is joy.
God is with you—Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, be courageous. Believe. Turn your fear into faith for the best is yet to come. In a little while Jesus will appear to you, as well.
Dear Heavenly Father, on this Resurrection Sunday I pray, that the family with whom you have blessed us, will see You. Dispel whatever fear is gripping them and turn it into faith in You, Lord, our Living God. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY