Pastor Steve Ellison
Right now, my life is very busy. Sometimes I think it is too busy. However it does not compare to the Passion Week. The last week of Jesus’ life was filled to the absolute brim and overflowing with events, activities, as well as public and private teaching. Sometimes we forget that God was orchestrating all these events to suit His purposes. The way that the donkey colt and the upper room were provided seems to shout out the sovereignty of God. The fact that Jesus announced in advance Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s three-fold denial, the desertion of the disciples, the scourging, etc. show that Jesus was and is in control; He is Lord indeed. Jesus entered Jerusalem in such a way that we have called it the Triumphal Entry because he clearly identified Himself with the shepherd king of Zechariah 9. The crowd recognized that and hailed Him as the Promised One who would restore the throne of David.
The crowd gathered along the road spreading leafy branches and their coats for Jesus to ride on as was befitting a king. They shouted praises to Jesus proclaiming that He was blessed because He was establishing the kingdom of David. They were sick and tired of living under Roman rule which they thought was unfair and cruel. They fully expected Jesus to throw off the Roman rule and establish an earthly kingdom as the Son of David. Thus what He did was a big disappointment to them. Mark 11:11 states, “Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the Temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.”NASU His inaction dashed their hopes and disillusioned them to the point that by the end of the week their shouts of praise had changed to “crucify Him”. Jesus did not do what the crowd expected Him to do, i.e. what they wanted Him to do, so they rejected Him. They rejected Him so completely that they called for Him to be crucified. It is amazing how quickly they turned on Him. It took four days or less, and simply because He did not meet their expectations. They wanted Jesus to throw off Roman rule and usher in a new physical kingdom. In their eyes, what He did was nothing. He didn’t give a speech; He didn’t lead a rebellion; He didn’t do anything except look around.
We often feel exactly the same way. We think our circumstances are unfair and cruel. We don’t have all the money we would like. We get cancer. Our job is taken from us. Others mistreat us. Our child dies. Our church is in turmoil. Our daughter-in-law divorces our son and keeps our grandchildren away from us. Our retirement account evaporates. Our spouse has an adulterous affair. Storms damage our home. In each of these cases, we want God to rush in and set things right (according to our expectations). We think Jesus is doing nothing. Sometimes our shouts of praise change to cries of rejection, but that should not be. He is Lord, after all. No matter what happens, we should learn from the Jerusalem crowd. Jesus will not always meet our expectations. Often He has another plan. Rather than establishing an earthly material kingdom, He establishes a spiritual kingdom in our heart. Because we are human, we think the goal is our comfort and our happiness. That is not the goal. The goal is for us to be conformed to the image of Christ. Thus, God uses these things that we do not like, things we wish had never happened to mold us into “little Christs” (Christians). ……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org