In Luke 19:35-40 Jesus tells the Pharisees that even if the crowd were to be silenced that the rocks and stones would sing to Him. Have we been silenced? Are we relying solely on the rocks and stones to sing God’s praise? This passage comes to life when Jesus responds to Caiaphas in the movie Jesus Christ Superstar during the song Hosanna, click here.
“Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
Nothing can be done to stop the shouting If ev’ry tongue was still the noise would still continue
The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing”
Here is a question for us all to ponder today. Do we sing Hosanna? Do we shout out “praise God” because of our joy of being saved?
Psalm 118:25 introduces us to the exclamation “grant salvation”. Over time this Hebrew phrase was translated into Greek and eventually English as Hosanna. Another way to view this word HOSANNA would be “Hooray for Salvation.” To personalize this phrase even further, we could state it like this: “Hooray for I have been saved and my salvation has come through Jesus Christ!” Let me ask you this pointed and difficult question, how many times a day do you tell someone about what Jesus has done for you? How many times a week, a month or have you ever?
How personal is the salvation story for you? From what have you been saved? How significant does the knowledge of your own salvation through Jesus Christ play itself out in your daily life? Do you feel it deep in your bones? Are you shouting this joy from the mountain tops? Are you even sharing this joy with just one other person or are you silent about your faith? These are important questions to contemplate.
If we are called to “shout it from the mountain tops” we first need to experience the feeling of this joy in the depth of our being. Are you experiencing the joy of Christ’s love and forgiveness? Are you telling anyone else about the source of your joy?
Does our relationship with God revolve around religious facts, rules and requirements? Does it simply mean Christmas comes once a year and we celebrate the birth of a historical God/child, then later in the year Easter comes and we celebrate a historical crucifixion and resurrection of a God/man, and in between we go to church to meet our obligations as “followers” of this God incarnate figure? Are we simply punching the card of obligatory “good things to do” and avoiding punching the card of “bad things to do” so we can “earn” our way into heaven? If so, we have a long way to go in our understanding of Christ’s calling in our lives.
We are not called to just an intellectual and historical understanding of Jesus Christ and His life, death and resurrection. We are called to a personal encounter with Him. He wants us to be saved, feel saved, and to tell others the source of that saving grace!
Clearly Jesus came to save us!! Yes to save you and me individually. He came to save others too. Now, He is calling us to the important part, He is calling us to be the instruments through which others can encounter His saving grace and mercy. How are we responding to His call? We are called to so much more than simply being good, caring people. We are called to be EVANGELISTS. We are called to help build the kingdom. The news of this salvation story “if” personally experienced in our own life, in our souls, in our hearts, in our minds, CANNOT BE CONTAINED!
So ask yourself this question, “Is my life a reflection of uncontrollable joy over my personal knowledge of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy towards my sins?” If not, is it likely that you will be a font of uncontrollable joy and uncontainable good news to others about what the savior has done for you?
If you are not sharing your excitement about Jesus with others all the time is it because the world has taught you that your faith is a private matter? Has political correctness and the fear of offending someone caused you to remain silent about your Christian beliefs?
Maybe we have allowed the mundane events of everyday life to distract us from our mission to spread the news of Jesus Christ. Are we too busy like Martha was rather than focusing on Jesus like Mary did? Jesus is alive in the world and in us today. Are we preoccupied with “stuff” and missing Him in our presence?
If this very day your earthly life were to come to an end would your planned schedule for today have reflected that you were serious about God’s call to bring His good news to a broken hurting world or would your schedule have looked more like Martha’s, just another busy day? Do you feel a sense of urgency to make sure those you encounter each day know Jesus Christ? Are you prepared to articulate to others how Jesus has saved you?
I would submit to you that if we have truly experienced the saving redemptive and healing power of Jesus Christ in our lives we should not be able to even stop telling the rocks and stones about Him. We would want everyone to know and experience the incredible inner joy that only Christ can give. Do you feel that joy? Are you sharing that joy?
Consider doing this. Make a written list today of how Jesus has worked in your life. Are there some areas of recurring sin from which He has released you? Have you experienced His healing forgiving touch? Has He brought peace and comfort to you? Write these all down.
All of us are sinners, so we should be able to write down ways in which Jesus has saved us, however if your list is short, perhaps you are relying too much on yourself and your own abilities as the source of strength in your life. Usually when we lean on our own strength, things don’t work out in the long run. When we lean on the cross and the crucified Christ it is GUARANTEED to lead us to eternal life.
Most if not all of us are willing to tell someone “Jesus is Lord,” but that is a far cry from telling them “Jesus, is my Lord!” Clearly we should tell people about Jesus, but our purpose isn’t simply to convey information. No, our purpose must be to introduce people to a savior and friend who loves them and longs to forgive them and spend eternity with them. This was the Apostles’ calling and it is our calling TODAY!
As I think about our willingness to tell others of our joy of salvation through Jesus or sadly sometimes our lack of willingness if that is the case, I am reminded of the story of the Ten Lepers Luke 17:11-19:
“As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
Jesus has given His life for us. He showers us with forgiveness and He heals our souls! So what then keeps us from rejoicing? These lyrics are contained in the song HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING by Chris Tomlin: You can listen to this beautiful song by clicking here.
“How can I keep from singing Your praiseHow can I ever say enoughHow amazing is Your loveHow can I keep from shouting Your nameI know I am loved by the KingAnd it makes my heart want to sing”
Wow, what a power question Jesus poses above, “where are the other nine?” Could He still be asking that question to us today? Have we returned singing and glorifying Him in a LOUD voice or has our voice remained silent? Will we be like the nine lepers, who just walked away?
Hosanna to Jesus, you have saved me! Lord, please teach me how to share my joy and good news with others I meet today, amen!