Easter is my favorite holiday of the entire year. I love to gather with the saints and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in the house of God. I love the songs that speak of that wonderful event that happened over 2,000 years ago. Songs like “He Arose”, “Because He Lives”, “He Lives”, and “In Christ Alone” thrill the heart of every child of God. As I was studying the book of Revelation I came across a song that will be sung in heaven. In Rev. 5:9-12 the apostle gives us the lyrics of the heavenly song. “And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
The song is sung by everyone gathered together in heaven. The song could be entitled: “Worthy is the Lamb”. Just like in heaven, Easter is a time for us to exalt our Savior. This song tells us why He is worthy. Jesus is worthy because of who He is. He is the Son of God. God has chosen to exalt Him and place Him on His right hand. He is the Lamb of God and is also described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Both of these descriptions outline His character in His first and second coming. He is worthy because of what He did. The song says He is worthy because He was slain, because He redeemed us, because He gathered people from every tribe and nation, and because He made us kings and priests.
As we gather together this Easter may every song we sing exalt our Lord Jesus. Worthy is the Lamb!
It was the Triumphal Entry and Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. His disciples began to grasp the prophetic significance of this event. On His way into the city crowds assembled around Him laid their clothes in the way and welcomed Him with palm branches and loud shouts. They cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:9). You might say this group of people were fans of Jesus. Jesus had many who were caught up in the excitement of the miraculous healings, the feeding of the 5,000, and His wonderful teaching. However, the crowd who welcomed Him into the city on Sunday turned against Him on Friday. Their hosanna’s turned to crucify Him. They may have been fans of Jesus, but they certainly weren’t followers of Jesus.
When Jesus came into the city He cleansed the temple of those who twisted the true worship of God. He began to teach hard-edged truths and peeled back entrenched religious hypocrisy. The crowd of fans began to dissipate and turned against Him. In 5 short days He was crucified. Fans are good at cheering their hero. Fans get caught up in a wave of emotion. Fans have a limited understanding. And fans can change loyalties in a heartbeat.
Followers are different. The true followers of Jesus have a personal relationship with Him not just a crowd excitement. Followers stick with Jesus even when they don’t quite understand it all. And followers of Jesus adhere to all of His teachings, not just the parts that are positive and exciting. When a large group left Jesus when He taught some hard truths, He asked His disciples, “will you also go away?” Peter echoed the heartbeat of every Christ follower when he said, “Lord to whom shall we go: You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
As we think of those two groups of people at His triumphal entry, which group are we in? Do we only come to the Lord when we need something? Do we only show up to church when something special is happening? Are we just a fan of Jesus or are we one of His true followers?
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation