Today’s Reading: John 12:12-19
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” – John 12:15
There was fear in the Garden of Eden as the God of creation came looking for the “would be” gods Adam and Eve. There was fear when that same God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and again when He made His presence known to the Israelites in fire and cloud on Mt. Sinai. There was fear when God’s glory filled the temple and Isaiah trembled in His presence. There was fear among the shepherds when the angels announced this God’s birth in Bethlehem. Why was there fear? Because the ones to whom this God makes His presence known were sinners deserving His judgment.
Tomorrow begins Holy Week and God says to you, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; . . . your king is coming.” When King Jesus entered Jerusalem on that Sunday so long ago, the people, and even His disciples did not know what lay ahead for Jesus. He had told them but they weren’t listening. “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Matthew 16:21)
Like Adam and Eve, Moses, the Israelites, Isaiah, and the shepherds, you have good reason to fear. You, like them, are sinners to whom this King comes.
Are you listening? “Fear not,” baptized child of God. The Catechism teaches you to pray that this King, “has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.”
Prayer: This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great friend, the Lamb of God, our Savior. Whom God the Father chose to send to gain for us His favor. “Go forth, My Son,” the Father said, “And free My children from their dread of guilt and condemnation. The wrath and stripes are hard to bear, but by Your passion they will share the fruit of Your salvation.” (From “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” LSB 438:2)
This devotion was written by Rev. Michael Knox, pastor of Our Redeemer in Cedar Falls, IA, Christ Lutheran in Waterloo Iowa, and Peace Lutheran in Shell Rock, IA.