Shout for Joy! – Week of April 3, 2023
Rejoice greatly, Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Shouts of frustration. Shouts of surprise. Shouts of anger. Shouts of joy. Shouts of cheering one another on. You’ve probably experienced all of these in your classroom at some point, maybe even all on the same day. Young children often share their emotions in big ways. When they’re really upset or really excited, they often don’t hold back.
In our text, we read about shouts of great joy and are called to join in that refrain – a refrain to welcome a king. At just the right time, God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world, keeping a promise first made in the Garden of Eden. Jesus came to live as our substitute, true God and true man, to obey God’s law and pay the price for the world’s sin. This passage points to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, as he prepares to sacrifice his life on the cross as that ultimate payment for sin. We can shout for joy that God keeps his promises, that Jesus came to be perfectly righteous – perfectly holy – where we could not be.
But, this passage also points us ahead to another celebration. Jesus, who died for sin, is alive. He is coming back to take us home to be with him, and what an occasion that will be! Jesus, our King, will arrive in splendor, proclaiming his victory over sin, death, and the devil. No longer will he appear meek and lowly, riding on a donkey. This is a king who rules eternally. We can shout in confidence that our God reigns, that our future is sure and secure.
And did you catch it? “See, your king comes to you.” This is not just some ordinary king for the masses; this is your king. And your family’s king. And your students’ king. And the world’s king. And yet, your king. A king who knows and loves you, who is great and powerful, who is gentle and good. That doesn’t mean that things always go the way we want or the way we think they should. That doesn’t mean we always understand God’s timing or provision. That doesn’t mean that the shouts of anger and frustration completely go away. But through it all, the ups and downs of each day, each week, each year, we can rejoice. So, look ahead. Look to Jesus. Shout for joy. Don’t hold back. Your King comes.
Dear Jesus, what an amazing king you are. You paid the price for my sin and have given me that victory. Help me to praise you as my king and to look ahead in joy knowing that my future is secure in you. Amen.
A Question to Consider:
How does knowing Jesus bring you joy? What would help you keep that reason for joy in front of you through the ups and downs of the week ahead?