Monday, March 17, 2014

Greatly Loved

I read Matthew 21 this morning.  It's the familiar story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  When you read it, right away you see the omniscience and omnipotence of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he sent two of His disciples to get a colt donkey that He could ride.


He knew precisely where the mare and the colt would be tied.
He knew that the disciples would be questioned, and He provided the answer ahead of time.


The colt had never been ridden, yet it submitted to Jesus.  Even the cloaks tossed on its back ought to have sent it into a tizzy.  Add to that the crowds of people, waving palm branches, crying out "Hosanna!  Hosanna!"  If you've ever been around an unbroken donkey, you'll know how astounding it is that Jesus rode it calmly into Jerusalem.

Exactly 483 years 

In Daniel, Chapter 9, verses 24 - 26, we read Daniel's confession as he cried out to God in shame because of the rebellion of God's people.  The angel Gabriel came to Daniel to tell him God's decree.

You are Greatly Loved

Gabriel said to Daniel, "O Daniel, I have come out to give you insight and understanding.  At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore, consider the word and the vision."

It struck me that Jesus, being OMNISCIENT, was well aware of the date when He sent the disciples to get the colt.  He knew that the angel Gabriel had been sent to Daniel to assure him that in spite of how terrible everything appeared to be, God was in control.  The time of transgression would end, and there would be an end to sin.  A full atonement for the sins of God's people would be made.

It's okay, Daniel.  You are greatly loved.

Jesus knew about Daniel's prayer.  He knew the angel would be sent to comfort him.  And He knew that exactly 483 years later, He would be riding the colt of the donkey, heading into Jerusalem in the midst of the crowds.

He also knew, in spite of the praise of the people, that they would turn on Him in a few short days.

Like Daniel, I am greatly loved.  How do I know this?  

I know this because I know that Jesus is omniscient, and on the day of the triumphal entry, He knew what He was about to face.  He loved me when He sat on that donkey and rode into Jerusalem.

He rode right up to the temple, then went in and cleansed it a second time.  This time He stayed, and preached, and healed the blind and the lame.  He did wonderful things, and the children knew it, and cried out again as they had in the streets, "Hosanna!  Hosanna!  Hosanna to the Son of David!"

You'd think the leaders of the people would have been blessed by this.  As they witnessed Him cleanse the temple of the money changers, the buyers and sellers who were cheapening the house of God, it should have crossed their minds that here was a man with authority.

As He gathered the people around Himself, teaching them, explaining to them the ways of God, they ought to have listened and taken His message to heart.

As He smiled at the lads who were raising their voices in songs of praise, they ought to have wondered, "Is this the Messiah that was promised?"

Instead these leaders, the chief priests and scribes, indignant and miserable, demanded to know:  "Do you hear what these boys are saying?"

Jesus answered, "Yes."  (Of course, He heard!)

He then quoted from Psalm 8:2 - "Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies" you have prepared praise.

Jesus greatly loved.

He loved the boys who had gathered around to praise His Holy name.

He loved the prophet Daniel, who fell to his knees and cried out to God on behalf of his people.

He loved this granny, Janet, who sits and types at her computer, thinking about how He set aside His majesty in order to atone for her sins.

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is man, that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that you care for him?

He greatly loved me, enough to set aside His position and authority as Creator of the universe.  He greatly loved me, keeping me in His mind as He set His face like flint, and went to the cross of Calvary.

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