What an absolutely powerful and amazing scene we find in John 12:12-19. Its the well known story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem for Passover riding on the donkey’s back. He is welcomed like a conquering king by hordes of people. The expectations of everyone have been building all week, and the people everywhere are wanting to know when He is going to show up. Finally, He does and everyone literally runs out of the city to meet Him.
Catch a couple of details though. They sing and shout for Him. They call out “Hosanna”, which while we use that word to mean “praise God”, it literally meant “save” in that day. They see Him as the one coming into town to save them. Not spiritually as much as politically. He’s gonna kick the Romans out. The rumors are flowing, He has just raised a man back to life after being dead for four days. He’s Superman. He’s invincible. He’s a real life super hero. And He is coming to save them. It’s a beautiful day for these people.
Later, John puts two and two together, and remembers that in Zechariah 9:9, it says that the coming king will ride on a donkey, and scatter the enemy. I’m sure at the time they wondered about the riding the donkey part, but looking back it made sense. But when you read further down in Zechariah 9, it talks about this King freeing the prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon. (I have the picture above set as my desktop, and this verse is actually in it.) He will have the power to set people free from dying. Jesus definitely fits that description.
I absolutely love the Pharisee’s statement in verse 19. “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” The Message writes it as “It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after Him!” That has so much irony, humor, power, love, and grace wrapped up in it. They’ve lost control. If only they would have went with that moment, and given it to Him as well, they could have been saved. But, as we see in the coming chapters, they don’t follow Him. And it costs them everything.
But I think this is Satan’s take on it as well. People start running around telling everyone they know how Jesus has made the dead able to live again. I think when we do that, Satan is forced to stand by and tell His demons, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!” It just takes people living a life of faith and passion, and telling the truth. It’s not complicated. But it’s powerful.
I want to be someone who lives in such a way as to cause these kinds of headaches for Satan. Too often I compromise, and I stand by watching his destruction in my life that I have brought on, and find myself saying, “See this is getting me nowhere.” I want to turn those tables. I want him to be frustrated at the power of Christ today. I want to be a voice, and tool, in the hands of Jesus to get the whole world to go after Him. Lord, please use me today! May everyone I meet go running after You.