FRIDAY, APR. 13: Acceptance and rejection: Two words that seem to carry very opposite feelings, for you would not mind being accepted, but you would have a bit of an issue being rejected.
Yet, take a further look at both words and consider why it is that you are being rejected, or why it is that you are being accepted.
As I reflect back on the first Palm Sunday and that glorious ride of Jesus into Jerusalem, that moment can be deemed as a moment of acceptance and rejection.
Let’s take a look at both of those words in regard to that one moment.
Jesus was accepted by the people. That would be a good thing. The people were cheering Him on and crying out accolades to Jesus. On that day they honoured Jesus above all else.
However, that very same moment can be deemed a moment of rejection, because the people felt so betrayed by the Roman Government that they sought Jesus, not because of His holiness or righteousness, but because Jesus had already shown that He could stand up against the power of the day.
The people had two powerful proofs that Jesus could ‘beat up’ the Government.
John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: But Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: And the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Lazarus was a thorn in the flesh of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
With every breath that Lazarus took, he chipped away at the fact that the two religious groups did not believe in life after death.
A walking Lazarus wounded the reputation of the state church. A living Lazarus chipped away at a cornerstone belief of the established church.
Mary was the woman who broke another barrier. She was a woman who entered into the presence of men and anointed the man, Jesus, with oil.
Mary anointed the man of God with oil. Unheard of.
Mary paved the way for women preachers of today. She broke through the gender barrier and now women can preach and anoint all the more today.
The people laid down branches of approval for Jesus. Those palm tree branches spoke volumes to the crowds and to the onlookers.
Palms were used to decorate the doorposts of the temple.
However, on that day the people took the palm tree leaves and paved the road with honour to Jesus.
In other words, they made a visual statement that they esteemed Jesus higher and of more importance than the temple.
When the chief priests saw that, they changed their plot.
No longer were they going to go after Lazarus to kill him. They were now going to go after Jesus, to kill Him.
Why? Because through the mighty acts of Jesus, the people were now rejecting the state church in order to run after Jesus.
The people had turned from religion with the state church to a relationship with the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
John 12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
That first Palm Sunday was a day of great acceptance and great rejection.
The question for you today is pretty much the same. Will today be your day of acceptance or your day of rejection?
Jesus was accepted and then rejected for you and for me, which led to a choice of eternal life for you and me.
Reject what has not taken you to your destiny and accept the One who will take you to your place called destiny.
Dr Maria A Seaman is the pastor of Shekinah Worship Centre, Hamilton Parish.