I enjoy passionate worship. When worship exalts the majesty and glory of Christ, the realm of heaven enters the room. In my opinion, there is nothing closer to heaven on earth than genuine worship in Spirit and Truth in a congregation—it is powerful and glorious! In that atmosphere, anything is possible. Praise shifts the atmosphere and creates an entrance for the King of Glory.
Have you ever wondered what it was like in Jerusalem the day Jesus rode into town on a donkey the week of His crucifixion? The crowds were worshipping and shouting, “Hosanna!” as He went past. The religious elite tried to have Jesus silence the crowd, but He declared, “If they should be quiet, even the rocks will cry out!” Worship cannot be silenced—the human response to God is passionate. But something else was happening that day long ago.
Jesus wasn’t just fulfilling prophecy, He was prophesying what would come. The people were living from expectancy—anticipating the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah—Jesus. Living in expectancy helps posture you to be ready for what God has promised. You live from a realm of faith that sees what God is fulfilling.
Palm Sunday: Prophetic Significance
All four gospels record Jesus riding into Jerusalem prior to Calgary, we refer to it as Palm Sunday. It’s the most public moment of Jesus’ life and begins what many refer to as Passion week, culminating with Resurrection Sunday or Easter. All four gospels come to a crescendo regarding Palm Sunday.
In the Gospel of Mark, the event is described in chapter eleven. Jesus enters the city He loves; the excitement and expectancy of the people reached a climax. There was tremendous prophetic significance about His Jerusalem entrance that week. It began in Jericho with Zacchaeus giving back to the people that which he wrongly acquired. Regarding his repentance, Jesus declares, “the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which is lost.” (Luke 19)
Then in John 11 we read of the resurrection of Lazarus. Not only is the town of Bethany impacted, but word spreads to Jerusalem of this miracle. In John 12 we read that large crowds are wanting to see Jesus and Lazarus—after all, who wouldn’t want to talk with someone raised from the dead! The result is that many Jews believed in Jesus after the resurrection of Lazarus, but the Chief Priests wanted to kill both. The result: expectancy builds as Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem.
We Live Best from Expectancy
The word expect means: to look forward, or to be pregnant. We live best from expectancy—anticipating, yearning for what we hope for. Faith sees the promise fulfilled while waiting steadfast in joy-filled hope.
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Many in the body of Christ today are expecting another significant move of God. The Holy Spirit is creating a belief and expectation of another awakening—for Jesus to enter our cities in a profound way. There is an expectation building in the followers of Christ of the glory of God coming in such a way that entire cities begin to worship the King of Glory with abandonment.
In a sense, the body of Christ is “pregnant,” carrying this awakening expectantly. We are the Lord’s ambassadors and we carry His glory. His glory should grow in our lives and in our cities and nations as we endeavor to advance God’s Kingdom.
The challenge for us is day-to-day living. Delay can quench the deepest desires of the heart. We long for Jesus—His presence—but God can’t be scheduled or planned. We want to live from that which was promised, with an expectant eye on the future. Abraham believed God’s promise and lived from prophetic expectancy. Yet, Abraham and Sarah didn’t “see” the fullness of the promise come to pass—it was larger than them. They saw a city, the new Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God.
The Church should live in expectancy that is larger and later than the routine of daily living. Only with the eye of faith can the unseen promises be seen and believed for fulfillment. For example, the Lord spoke to me at the beginning of 2017 that this was a “year for the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and for the lame to walk—expect the miraculous!” It is also a year of multiplication, a year for the glory of God to multiply in and through the church to impact our world—expect it!
A House of Prayer
When Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, this was his most public hour in His three years of ministry. Thousands thronged the streets to see Him. Many people filled the temple to hear Him speak and observe the healings and miracles He performed. With all this attention, what did he say?
In Mark 11:17 Jesus, in quoting from Isaiah 56:7, states, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The entire city is fixated on Jesus, and what does Jesus want them to know? God’s place of worship includes people from every ethnic background and it will be a place of prayer, worship, and of His presence. Prayer and worship shift the atmosphere over families, cities, and nations.
His most public hour, and this was what was on his heart. Jesus came lowly on a donkey, not just trying to fulfill prophecy, He was prophesying what was to come. In Mark’s gospel we read, “We heard him saying, ‘I will destroy this temple, constructed by humans, and within three days I will build another, one not made by humans.’” (Mark 14:58 CEB)
Jesus spoke of the Jewish temple being torn down, and a temple constructed not made with human hands. He was speaking of the Church, created by God Himself, through believers inhabited and knit together by God’s Spirit (1 Peter 2). It was for this that He was crucified: declaring that the sacred Jewish temple would be destroyed (and it was in 70AD). Jesus was giving a prophetic statement and declaring God’s future desire. A glorious Church, with Jesus as head, and the church the fullness of His Body (Ephesians 1), bringing His presence and power to a hurting world.
Miracles Fuel the Worship
As Jesus enters Jerusalem and ministers in the Temple during the passion week, the people are worshipping and crying out for their King. We read in Luke 19 that the people were shouting and worshipping because of the miracles they were observing—what a church service! However, the Pharisees are trying to calm the worship down and take the attention from Jesus. But Jesus essentially says, “This is so right that if they don’t worship the stones will worship!”
Why did the miracles move the people in such exuberant worship? The people expected a miracle- working Messiah, one like the prophet Moses (Deuteronomy 18). The miracles gave evidence that their hope was being realized—this is the promised Messiah! They were seeing expectation fulfilled. Matthew’s account confirms this, “all the city was moved” (Matt. 21:10) and “then the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them” (Matt. 21:14). The city stirred asking, “Who is this?” Why? because of miracles. Keep in mind that this is the only time Jesus initiated drawing of a crowd.
Much of the church has relegated miracles to a former time. Yet it’s the presence and power of God that people cry out for—we live in a culture that has a desire to witness the supernatural. Sadly, many church leaders today, not unlike the Pharisees and Chief Priests in Jesus day, have an anti-supernatural bias against miracles. “That was for a former time” many declare. Yet, the people cry out for the authentic, presence of God, complete with miracles. Every miracle brings glory to God.
The enemies of Jesus, then and today, cry out, “Shut it down!” But Jesus declares, “If they are quiet, the rocks will cry out!” Why? Jesus answers, “It must happen; this temple made without hands must be established. Nothing you can do can stop this!” You see, God is building a house of His presence, where miracles, signs, and wonders are the norm. There is a wave of God’s Glory building across the earth—another major move of God’s Spirit is upon us! Expect the miraculous and sudden nature of God—it’s the children’s bread!
Jesus wasn’t just fulfilling prophecy, He was prophesying what was coming. The tabernacle of David would be established—a place where all people from every nation are welcome. A place of prayer, worship, and God’s presence and power to work miracles. An everlasting kingdom that will surpass all other kingdoms on this earth.
A young member of our church recently shared an incredible testimony of healing and expectation. In April of 2016, Brittany’s mother was diagnosed with Stage Four cancer. That November, they traveled to the Mayo Clinic where the surgeons would operate and remove the cancer. After they opened up her mother, they pulled the family back in the rooms to talk with them and said they were not going to be able to perform the surgery because her spleen and gallbladder were covered with cancer. They gave her 2-4 months to live.
Two months later, in January of 2017, Brittany brought her mother to the Passion Church healing rooms, and they prayed for her healing. One of the prophetic words the ministers at the healing rooms gave was that it was going to go from Stage 4, to Stage 3, to Stage 2, and into remission.
In March, they received the results from her mother’s MRI: there were no signs whatsoever of cancer on her gallbladder or spleen—it was a miraculous healing brought forth by prayer, hope, and expectancy in God’s goodness.
Learn to pray with faith, abide in hope, and remain expectant. Pray your way into miracles for your family, for others, for your city, and the nations of the world!
Again, this story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem creates a crescendo of His earthly life and ministry and is recorded in all four gospels. Much of the gospel accounts regarding this event are from Psalm 118:21-26:
I thank you for answering my prayer
and giving me victory!
The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.
This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Please, Lord, please save us.
Please, Lord, please give us success.
Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord. (NLT)
Psalms 113-118 are from the Hallel collection read during Passover week. The people were rejoicing, as they shouted and sang, they recognized Jesus was the Messiah. Verses 22-23 of Psalm 18 were Messianic scriptures for first-century Judaism.
Psalm 118:25 NKJV, the verse reads, “Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.” In the Gospel accounts, “Save I pray O Lord” translates in some English Bibles as “Hosanna.” This word is a transliteration of the Hebrew expression hôšî-ʿâ (-n)nāʾ, which is a cry for help (Psalm 118:25). It is a Messianic cry of hope and expectation.
The Hebrew for Hosanna is only found one place in the Bible, here in Psalm 118. Hôšî-ʿâ (-n)nā : hosi means “to save”, na is an imperative, like an exclamation mark, “now!” Before and after makes it more intense: Na Hosi Na An-na Yaveh Hosi na! Which in English could read, “God save us like never before! Save I pray oh Lord!”
When God begins to move in periods of outpouring and revival, people begin to discover God, which creates an even greater hunger for God—save us more!
Psalm 118: 25 “Send now prosperity” or “success,” translates from the Hebrew tsâlêach which means: 1) to go over or through (like river) 2) to attack or fall upon – like God breaking forth upon men 3) to go on well, to prosper, to succeed. To advance, to prosper.
Psalm 118:25 could read, “An-na Yaveh, tsâlêach na!” Or in English, “Now God, break forth, advance Yaveh, bring it through to completion and success!” We must see that God is doing great things and His purposes will be accomplished. He wants us to see it, to participate with Him—through prayer, worship, evangelism, ministering to the poor and needy etc.
The very stone that the builders rejected, from the trash heap, this rejected person—Jesus—is now the finishing piece. God’s glorious temple, His Church, not made with hands, with Jesus as the capstone, or head. The Chief Cornerstone is being set in His rightful place throughout the nations! When He is recognized as the Chief Cornerstone, families, cities, and nations come into right order—this is God’s plan—and it will be fulfilled!
Jesus wasn’t just fulfilling prophecy, He was prophesying how every city in the world should be receiving Him. He is building a great temple—we are privileged to be a part!
Living from Expectancy
Pray with faith, “God save us, God give us the finish!” “God save us now, our families, our churches, our cities, our nation!” Pray with hope, pray with expectation. Minister to the hurting and lost, take the good news of God’s Kingdom to our world. You are His ambassador of Glory—carry His presence to the hurting of the world. Believe that today is a day for His miracle power to be released in dramatic ways—Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8)
See the cities of the world as places where Jesus is welcomed, where He is worshipped. See your city as a citywide place of prayer, worship, and His presence. When we carry God’s heart for our cities and the nations of the world, we step into a place of prosperity (success) that impacts our lives, and our families.
 Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 1356 (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995).
You can watch the testimony of cancer healed here:
For more information on Living from Expectancy, watch the recent Passion Church sermon: