Morning

“He was heard in that he feared.”
Hebrews 5:7

Did this fear arise from the infernal suggestion that he was utterly forsaken. There may be sterner trials than this, but surely it is one of the worst to be utterly forsaken? “See,” said Satan, “thou hast a friend nowhere! Thy Father hath shut up the bowels of his compassion against thee. Not an angel in his courts will stretch out his hand to help thee. All heaven is alienated from thee; thou art left alone. See the companions with whom thou hast taken sweet counsel, what are they worth? Son of Mary, see there thy brother James, see there thy loved disciple John, and thy bold apostle Peter, how the cowards sleep when thou art in thy sufferings! Lo! Thou hast no friend left in heaven or earth. All hell is against thee. I have stirred up mine infernal den. I have sent my missives throughout all regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon thee this night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our infernal might to overwhelm thee: and what wilt thou do, thou solitary one?” It may be, this was the temptation; we think it was, because the appearance of an angel unto him strengthening him removed that fear. He was heard in that he feared; he was no more alone, but heaven was with him. It may be that this is the reason of his coming three times to his disciples–as Hart puts it–

“Backwards and forwards thrice he ran,

As if he sought some help from man.”

He would see for himself whether it were really true that all men had forsaken him; he found them all asleep; but perhaps he gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were sleeping, not from treachery, but from sorrow, the spirit indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak. At any rate, he was heard in that he feared. Jesus was heard in his deepest woe; my soul, thou shalt be heard also.

Evening

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit.”
Luke 10:21

The Saviour was “a man of sorrows,” but every thoughtful mind has discovered the fact that down deep in his innermost soul he carried an inexhaustible treasury of refined and heavenly joy. Of all the human race, there was never a man who had a deeper, purer, or more abiding peace than our Lord Jesus Christ. “He was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows.” His vast benevolence must, from the very nature of things, have afforded him the deepest possible delight, for benevolence is joy. There were a few remarkable seasons when this joy manifested itself. “At that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” Christ had his songs, though it was night with him; though his face was marred, and his countenance had lost the lustre of earthly happiness, yet sometimes it was lit up with a matchless splendour of unparalleled satisfaction, as he thought upon the recompense of the reward, and in the midst of the congregation sang his praise unto God. In this, the Lord Jesus is a blessed picture of his church on earth. At this hour the church expects to walk in sympathy with her Lord along a thorny road; through much tribulation she is forcing her way to the crown. To bear the cross is her office, and to be scorned and counted an alien by her mother’s children is her lot; and yet the church has a deep well of joy, of which none can drink but her own children. There are stores of wine, and oil, and corn, hidden in the midst of our Jerusalem, upon which the saints of God are evermore sustained and nurtured; and sometimes, as in our Saviour’s case, we have our seasons of intense delight, for “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of our God.” Exiles though we be, we rejoice in our King; yea, in him we exceedingly rejoice, while in his name we set up our banners.

All rights belong the the collections of Charles Spurgeon

 

 

PALM SUNDAY

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him.

John 12:12 NLT

From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd the victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud; the Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state, nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna by Jeannette Threlfall (1821-1880)

Praising her victorious Savior

Today is Palm Sunday. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem was the scene of a curious exchange between Jesus and the religious leaders of the day. A crowd was following Jesus, waving palms and singing, “Hosanna!” This term, literally meaning, “Lord, save us!” was also a cry of praise.

This crowd included a number of children, no doubt caught up in the excitement of the day. The leaders asked Jesus to tell the children to stop such singing. Certainly Jesus wouldn’t want innocent kids to be guilty of blasphemy. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Jesus.

Yes, Jesus said, quoting Psalm 8:2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” (Matthew 21:16)

You might think that Jeannette Threlfall had many reasons not to praise God. Orphaned young, shuttled among relatives, she was injured in an accident and became an invalid. Yet she remained cheery and faithful, penning many Christian poems and hymns. Her life was a cry of hosanna! to her victorious Savior.

Our Holy Week readings are adapted from The One Year® Book of Hymns by Mark Norton and Robert Brown, Tyndale House Publishers (1995). Today’s is taken from the entry for March 31.

For more reflection on Holy week, see The Passion, Tyndale’s companion book to Mel Gibson’s powerful movie about the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House