As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:36-40)
I met my husband on January 8, 1983. It was love at first sight, and I knew he was the man I would marry. When the day came, over two years later, that he finally proposed, I couldn’t stop crying and praising God for the treasure He had given me. I was engaged to my beloved.
I can’t imagine the excitement of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem as their Beloved, the King of Kings, crested the Mount of Olives and approached them. In the absence of a red carpet, people spread their cloaks in front of Jesus. His followers praised Him in loud voices. Jesus would save them. I imagine the angels were present, praising louder than the disciples. Only Jesus could see them. The angels praised so loudly that if Jesus’ disciples had stopped, the Pharisees would have heard the angels. Since the Pharisees didn’t have spiritual eyes to see them, they would’ve thought stones were crying out.
The image of Palm Sunday is one we should picture daily as we praise Jesus and the God who sent Him. Imagine being surrounded with angels and praising Jesus as boisterously. God is with us when we praise Him. “He inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psalm 22:3) Praise opens God’s gate into an open court of unending blessings stretching to heaven. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!” (Psalm 100:4a) Praise defeats the enemy. “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22) Praise releases God’s power. “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, … suddenly there was a great earthquake, so the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” (Acts 16:25-26)
Dearest Father in Heaven, thank you for Jesus. Blessed is He who comes in Your name, who is my savior and intercedes for me. Blessed is He who will help change my heart or get rid of a bad habit or trait to become a better version of myself. Father, help me _________. Thank you for teaching me the first step to leave a bad habit or trait at the cross is to praise God. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.