A few years ago, while house shopping, my wife and I found what we thought would be our dream home. The house was two-story, four bedroom, two bath, and situated on the side of a hill overlooking town. Asking price? $89,000. Well within our range.
What a find! I had never dreamed I’d live in anything nicer than a double-wide on a quarter-acre subdivided lot. Yet, here sat this four bedroom dream home overlooking town, and I could afford it! Quickly, we drove to the real estate office to see about touring the home, and to make an offer.
“Leland, you do not want that house,” the agent told me. “It has foundation issues. The house is literally sliding down the side of the hill, and it will need tens of thousands of dollars invested to properly repair it.” In all honesty, I do well to keep the yard mowed, so, I had to bid farewell to the dream house. (God later blessed me with a nice home in which I am able to raise my family of nine.)
None the less, I was disappointed at the time. How could such a beautiful structure be in danger of falling off the hill? Who would overlook the important step of making sure there was a solid foundation?
The image of the house was brilliant. The stability of the house was in critical condition.
Such was also the case on the original Palm Sunday. You had the brilliant, glorious moment of multitudes of people lining the road into Jerusalem, proclaiming “Hosanna, Hosanna! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!” The people were celebrating the arrival of their King, the promised Messiah, the One whom God promised in Zechariah 9:9, the one and only Jesus Christ!
The roar of the crowd was huge, and if the people would have held their peace, Jesus said the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). Israel had their King. They had their deliverer.
Yet, as Jesus approached Jerusalem, he began to weep, and lamented that Jerusalem did not recognize that this was their day. Indeed, Jesus knew that in just a few days, the same people celebrating his arrival would cry out to Pilate, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!” With His foreknowledge, Jesus knew that the splendor of the people’s praise was merely surface beauty.
How could the same crowds that celebrated the arrival of their King one day, deny Him and call for His crucifixion another day? Simple. Their emotional response on Palm Sunday was not held up by the foundation of faith.
Serving and worshiping the Lord is an emotional experience. However, if one does not have a solid foundation of faith, that’s all it is… an emotional experience. Emotions without faith can leave one empty. Even worse, emotions without faith can lead one to Hell.
Do you have a solid foundation of faith? Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Do you trust Him and follow Him daily?
Palm Sunday is about celebrating the arrival of Christ, and evaluating our own faith in Him. Let us all examine our own faith, and make our calling and election sure. May God bless you and keep you.
-Note: The owners of the house went on to repair the foundation, and sell the home. To this day, the house still sits on the side of the hill, proving that you can repair your foundation even after the downward slide has begun.