Our small choir of middle schoolers worked hard to learn difficult music. With all our might we sang, "Lift up your heads oh ye gates! And be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors and the King shall come in!" (I can still remember the tune to this day.)
The theology behind the words of the song may have been a bit murky to our adolescent minds. But the enthusiasm with which we belted it out served to make up any deficiencies. We had no idea the song was referencing Psalm 24 as a prophesy fulfilled hundreds of years later by Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem a few days prior to His crucifixion. Nor did we realize the End-Time implications of that passage. All we knew was the thrill we felt as homage due Him was paid in the singing of those words.
Perhaps our youthful excitement mirrored the electric atmosphere of that day long ago as the crowds took up the chant, "Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!"
How sad to note that some of the voices raised in welcoming Christ as He rode into town that day were to be raised so soon in another chant, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Let His blood be upon us and upon our children!"
Lest we become too smug in our condemnation of their fickleness, we would do well to remember the times we have praised Him on Sunday and cleverly disguised our relationship with Him on Monday.
May God give us the courage to be at all times who we are on Palm Sunday and Easter. May we truly lift up our heads and welcome the Lordship of the gentle Nazarene while He extends the mercy of God in this Church Age.
The Day will come soon enough when He will tread the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. "Seek the Lord while He may be found..."
Richard Orrell, pastor