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Who Will Praise Him?

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the day we call Palm Sunday He was surrounded by throngs of people shouting His praises. The crowd was proclaiming loudly and enthusiastically, “Blessed be the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (St. Luke 19:38)

The Pharisees, who were always lurking near by, thought this blasphemous and told Jesus that He should rebuke the crowd. To their objection Jesus responded, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (St. Luke 19:40) Christ will be praised, if not by men, then by stone. The people continued to praise Him as He rode on into Jerusalem.

Who were these people who were laying their coats along with palm fronds in Christ’s path and shouting out His praises? Or to put the question another way, what type of person is it who has a heart overflowing with love, thanks and praises for Jesus Christ? There were certain types of people who were undoubtedly there that day.

First among those shouting the Lord’s praises were those who had come to know Him as a friend. As Jesus traveled the roads of this world He met many lonely, friendless people. To such people Jesus extended the hand of friendship. It was to His credit that Jesus was criticized by His enemies as being a friend of publicans and sinners.

A few days earlier on His way to Jerusalem Jesus had passed through the town of Jericho. Jericho was approximately fifteen miles east of Jerusalem. On entering Jericho Jesus encountered a man named Zacchaeus. They met in a most unusual way. The crowd surrounding Jesus was so great that Zacchaeus couldn’t see Him, because he, Zacchaeus, was rather short. So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a tree. When Christ came to the tree and saw Zacchaeus the Lord told him to come down because He desired to eat at Zacchaeus’ house that day.

On hearing this Zacchaeus responded immediately and positively. You see, Zacchaeus was a man without friends. Oh, he had associates, but no true friend. Zacchaeus was a publican, a tax collector. He collected taxes for the Romans. Like most publicans he was looked upon as a crook and a traitor to his own people. No one wanted to be friends with someone like Zacchaeus, no one but Christ that is. Jesus took the initiative and reached out in friendship to Zacchaeus.

Jesus came to be a friend and to make us His friends. The Lord said, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends....” (St. John 15:15) Zacchaeus may well have been in the crowd that day. All who have entered into friendship with Jesus will praise Him.

Also in the crowd that day were those who knew Jesus as the giver of life. About two weeks before Palm Sunday Jesus had been in Bethany, a town very near Jerusalem. What had taken Him there was the death of His friend Lazarus. The sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, were grieved that Jesus had not arrived in time to heal their brother. On arriving at Bethany Jesus was confronted by the heart broken sister, Martha. In response to her sorrow Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (St. John 11:25,26)

Then to demonstrate the truth of that pledge Jesus went to the tomb and called Lazarus back to life. Surely Mary, Martha and Lazarus were there that day lifting their voices in praise to Jesus.

Jesus is the Life and the giver of life. He gives spiritual life calling us back from spiritual death. As St. Paul put it, “And you be made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked....” (Ephesians 2:1,2) Jesus promised that this life will be eternal. Of this St. Paul wrote, “And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord.” (I Thess.4:16,17)

When rebuked by the Pharisees for accepting the praises of the people Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these were silent the very stones would cry out.” But the people were there and they were not silent. People who knew Jesus as a friend and as the giver of life were there shouting His praises. Such people still praise Him today.

by Reverend Frank M. Levi

Missionary of The Month

Domestic Missions
Please pray for Rev. Canon & Mrs. Dennis Cagle (Jeri) and their children Ashley, Austin, and Chelsea. Christ the King Mission in Atascadero, California.

Happy Birthday!
March 1 - Dale Muir
March 3 - Holly Ardizzone
March 8 - Myrtle Haas

March 28, 1999

Good Friday Services
April 2, 1999
Community Service 12:00 noon at the Tinley Park Village Hall. Service at the church at 7:30 P.M. (No dinner)

April 4, 1999
Time: 9:00 A.M.
Parish Hall

Easter Worship Service
The Service of Holy Communion begins at 10:30 A.M. We hope everyone can be with us for worship on Easter as we celebrate our Lord’s RESURRECTION!

Lenten Services
Our Wednesday evening Lenten services and dinners have been very successful. We want to thank those who served as host or hostess, those who helped by setting up, rearranging tables and chairs, cleaning up, and we especially want to thank those who prepared such delicious dishes.

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