A Time of Testimony

The people therefore that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. – John 12:17

It was a time of testimony: for those who had been present, and had seen Lazarus raised from the dead, bore witness. One stepped forward and said, “With these eyes I saw Lazarus come forth from the tomb of rock.” “As for me”, said another, “I saw him buried, I helped to carry him to the grave; but I saw him come back to the house alive.” “Yes”, said a third, “I rolled away the stone, and as I stood watching for the result, I saw the dead man come forth alive, and I helped to loose his grave-clothes.” All these bore witness to what they had seen. You cannot tell what a joyful effect it produces, and what enthusiasm is stirred, when one after another bears personal witness. Lord, open men’s mouths! Lord, make the quiet ones to tell forth Thy praise! Your silent tongues deprive us of our joy. Your cowardly reticence robs Christ of His glory and the church of its increase. If God has done anything for you, or you have seen Him do anything for others, bear testimony to it. It is the Lord’s due, and your duty, that you should speak to the glory of Christ Jesus. When great wonders have been done, and those who saw them are willing to bear their testimony “hereunto, then we may look for red-letter days, wherein gladness and praise shall be in the ascendant.

When we are all ready, each man, each woman, ready to take our share in the harvesting, then will the sheaves be garnered. It is cheering when the congregation shares the excitement with the church and its ministers, and the prospect of a divine blessing is before the mind of all who seek better things. Surely, the time to favor Zion, yea, the set time has come, when her King is longed for, and every heart beats high with love of Him. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Days of Holy Exultation

…took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. The people therefore that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this miracle. – John 12:13,17-18

There are choice days when the shout of a King is heard in our assemblies. We have not yet fallen to a dull monotony of barrenness; we have hills like those of Carmel. The low-water mark of lukewarmness is covered deep beneath flood-tides of holy exultation. I think that such days come to the church of God after special miracles of grace have been wrought. Lazarus is raised from the dead, and when the people thus see the greatness of the Prophet of Nazareth, they begin to commend and extol Him, and this leads on to holy excitement. If the Lord will be pleased to work remarkable conversions among us, we shall have grand times. If special instances of His gracious power are seen by us, we will bear our palms of victory before Him, and many hearts shall enquire, “Who is this?” Our hearts shall rejoice as with the joy of harvest when we see the Lord saving great sinners; yea, we will shout as victors who divide the spoil. Do you not think that when Saul of Tarsus was converted, and the churches had rest, that they had also great exultation in their King? Everywhere it must have been talked of that the fierce Pharisee had become a bold preacher of the faith which once he sought to destroy. What joy there is in saintly hearts when ring-leaders in sin become champions for truth! Oh that our God would work such transformations in this city! Pray, my brothers and sisters, that the Lord would do the like for us, and for all His churches just now. Oh, for displays of His power to quicken the dead! Oh, for Lazarus to be raised, and to live among us as a wonder of grace whom neighbors would come to see! O Lord, give us this signal of delight! Let us see Thine arm made bare in the eyes of all the people. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Our Lord’s Eternal Reign

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. – Zechariah 9:9

And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David– Matthew 21:9

Beloved, our Lord will not always be rejected. There are days of triumph for Him. “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” This is the age of iron, but there comes a golden age of love and light. We look for His appearing and His reign of peace and joy. There will come a day when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. He shall sit upon the throne of His father David, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hath not Jehovah said to Him, “Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession”? Yes, there will come a day when He that was the reproach of men shall be the glory of His people. Kings shall bow down before Him. All generations shall call Him blessed. When I see that joyful procession going up the hill to Zion; and mark how they that went before joined with those who followed after, while the King Himself rode in the center, I seem to see a rehearsal of the long succession of the faithful in all ages. The prophets have gone before Him: hark to their loud Hosannas! We come behind Him, even we upon whom the ends of the earth have come, and we have our glad Hosannas, too! Here patriarchs join with apostles, prophets are one with martyrs, and priests keep rank with pastors and deacons, all with one voice lifting up the self-same note, “Hosanna! blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” We see, then, in the simple state of our Lord in the streets of Jerusalem, a vision of the long glories which await Him in the New Jerusalem, where He shall sit upon His throne, and His enemies shall be made His footstool. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Greatness of His Self Denial

And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David… – Matthew 21:9

My kingdom is not of this world… – John 18:36

Our Savior intended by this singular procession, to let His enemies know His real strength among the people. If he could gather so great a crowd of adherents without any summons or prearrangement, surely the whole population must have been, to a large degree, in his favor. If such an enthusiastic reception was spontaneously given Him, how many would have gathered if a plan had been arranged? Had He agreed to lead them against the Romans, thousands of fanatics would have followed His banner. If He had designed to make Himself a king, and had permitted His servants to fight, the old fierce courage of the Jewish race would have burned up like a flame of fire and His enemies would have fled before Him. He came not with war in His heart, but He would let the foeman see the hilt of the sword which He might have drawn from its sheath: He would let scribe and Pharisee bite their lips, while they said, “Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after Him.” If the Savior had willed to use the baser methods that men nowadays would freely employ, by asking the world’s alliance, He might have made Himself a King at once. Had He blended politics with religion, and yielded something to general prejudice, He might at once have set up a worldly kingdom. But no, He knew no selfish ambition, His kingdom was not of this world; He came not that He might be honored here, but that He might be put to shame for our redemption. The diadem to which He aspired was a crown of thorns; yet He lets His adversaries see that He was not lowly because He was weak, nor gentle because He was feeble. They might, if they would, have seen by that day in Jerusalem the greatness of the self-denial which abstained from earthly honors. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The King of the Jews

Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. – Matthew 21:9

But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him! – Luke 23:21

Jesus was the son of David, and therefore He was by natural right the King of the Jews. If He had taken possession of His own, He would have been sitting on the throne of the chosen dynasty of David by right of birth. He was, moreover, as the Messiah, and Christ, the King of His people Israel. Concerning Him it had been said by the prophet, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Our Lord Jesus literally came to Zion in this manner. As King He rode to His capital and entered His palace. In His priestly royalty the Son of God went to His Father’s house, to the temple of sacrifice and sovereignty. Among the tribes of Israel is He seen to be “one chosen out of the people,” whom the LORD had given to be a leader and commander for the people. Although they might afterwards choose Barabbas, and cry that they had no king but Caesar, yet Jesus was their King, as Pilate reminded them, when he said, “Shall I crucify your king?” and as His cross declared when it bore the legal inscription, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Before His trial and His condemnation, He had put in a public claim to the rights and prerogatives of Zion’s king, whom God has set upon His holy hill. Would to God all my hearers fully recognized our Lord’s kingdom and yielded to His sway! Oh, that you would bow before Him, and put your trust in Him! Part of His intent in riding through Jerusalem was that we also might know Him and reverence Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Son of David

Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. – Matthew 21:9

Jesus had frequently avowed His mission in plain speech; He had told them who He was, and why He came; but they would not hear; so that they dared to say to Him, “If Thou be the Christ tell us plainly.” He had plainly told them times without number. Now He will assure them still more positively of His kingdom by openly riding into the city of Jerusalem in state. Now shall they see that He claims to be the Messiah, sent of God, of whom the prophet said, “Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh.” Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings shall His fame be proclaimed; multitudes of people shall acknowledge with loud voices that “He cometh in the name of the Lord”; until the envious Pharisees shall be driven to ask, “Hearest Thou what these say?” You will remember that our Lord rode into Jerusalem as a King, but He was also brought there as the Lamb of God’s Passover, whose blood must save the people. It was not meet that the Lamb of God should go to the altar without observation; it was not fit that He who taketh away the sin of the world should be led to the temple unobserved. The day was near when He was to be offered up, and all eyes were called to look on Him and know who and what He was. Therefore, He permitted this great gathering and this honorable attention to Himself, that He might say to Israel, by deeds as well as by words, “I am He that should come. I am He who of old had said, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God.” When they crucified Him the rulers knew what He professed to be. Albeit many of them were in ignorance as to the truthfulness of His claims, yet they knew right well that they were crucifying the One who professed to be the Lord of glory, the One who was acknowledged to be the Son of David, the One who had in public avowed Himself to be King in Zion. – C.H. Spurgeon


The Third Day

…and the third day He shall rise again. – Matthew 20:19

Behold Him! Behold Him! His hands are extended and cruelly nailed to the wood. His feet are fastened to the tree, and He Himself is left to bear the weight of His body upon His hand and feet. See how the nails tear through the flesh as the weight drags the body down and enlarges the wounds! See, He is in a fever! His mouth is dried up and has become like an oven, and His tongue cleaves to the roof thereof! Crucifixion was an inhuman death, and the Savior was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” The wonder is, that He could foresee this, and speak of it so calmly. He meditates upon it and speaks to choice familiar friends about it. Oh, the mastery of love, strong as death! He contemplates the cross and despises its shame.

Thus He dwells on it all, and then closes by saying, “and the third day He shall rise again.” We must never forgot that, for He never forgets it. Ah! you may think as much as ever you will of Calvary and let your tears flow like rivers. You may sit at Gethsemane, and say, “Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for my Lord!” But, after all, you must wipe those tears away, for He is not in the grave; He rose again on the third day. O blessed morning!. The first day of the week stands for ever the remembrance of our risen Lord, and on that day, He renews His special communings with His people. We believe in Him; we rise in Him; we triumph in Him; and “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.”

God bless this meditation to you by His Holy Spirit! ~ C.H. Spurgeon