Hey you – come out!

Categorized as  grave,  life,  resurrection,  shepherd, Easter

We were seated in church on Palm Sunday, voices raised in corporate worship, singing this song:

“Hosanna!  Hosanna!
You are the God who saves us,
Worthy of all our praises!

“Hosanna!  Hosanna!
Come have Your way among us.
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus.”

Suddenly, the doors on both sides of the stage opened up, and little children came streaming in.  In an unending line they came from two directions, meeting in the middle before the altar.

And what was this?  Up in the balcony where we sat came yet more of them, filing across the entire front and down both side stairs until the entire sanctuary, top and bottom, was ringed with children waving palm branches.  “Hosanna!  Hosanna!”

Unable to sing and with tears leaking down, I looked, and there he was – our Little right before the altar, waving his own palm branch.  “Hosanna!”

I’ll confess it.  I’d been feeling dry this Easter time; dry and unprepared for the resurrection celebration that we’d be joining in mere days.  And so I told Him about it, straight up.

In answer, He led me into the book of John, and right there in chapter 10, He painted a beautiful picture of a sheepfold and a gate, of Himself as the Good Shepherd Who cared for His sheep.  He warned that thieves would come, trying to lead the sheep astray, but that the sheep would never listen to a voice they didn’t know.

A truly good shepherd, He said, would lay down his life for the sheep.  And I rejoiced, knowing that my truly good Shepherd had done just that.

Moving on then, I came to the story of Lazarus.  Jesus had wept; had been deeply moved because one whom He’d loved had died.  Sorrowing, the sisters had rushed to Him, their Lord and Master, then led Him to the place where their brother lay “sleeping.”

“Lazarus, come forth!”  It was the Eternal Voice that called his name, and from the depths of the tomb he came, wrapped in grave clothes, to stumble into the eager embrace of his sisters.

It struck me then.  Wasn’t this the story of Easter?  Death, then life?  Burial and resurrection?  It had all been accomplished; finished, once and forever and for all eternity!

I heard His voice:  “Rhonda, come forth!”  Calling me to life, to freedom in Him, to resurrection.  Calling me out and unwrapping the stinking clothes of the grave that had bound me for too long.  But I must choose to give them up, to walk out of that grave, leaving self behind…

I hear Him now, calling your name:  “Hey, you!  Come out!”  He’s calling you to life, to freedom, to resurrection power.  He’s calling you out, asking you to leave behind your grave clothes.  Jesus, the truly good Shepherd, is waiting, new robes for you and I in His hand.

“Hey, you.  Come out.”  Hosanna!

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