Blog Series: Misconceived Hope (Part I)
Blog Series: Misconceived Hope
Jesus’ Final Days Leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection
Part I: A Triumphant Entry
Yesterday, in many churches, we celebrated Palm Sunday which commemorates the day Jesus' rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Oh, what a celebration it was! Can you imagine the excitement that was in the air? People all crowding around Jesus yelling and following closely behind. What would it have been like to be apart of that crowd? I wonder if it was like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Eve all rolled up into one? The Gospels record the event in great detail:
Mark 11:10 (NIV) records that the people were shouting, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” If you are like me, then you may have wondered why the people were so excited. Yes, you and I would have been bursting with excitement, but that is because we know who Jesus is. We have a relationship with Him, we have studied Him and learned about Him, but most of the people in the crowd had not yet had that experience with Him. (Let us not forget that these are the same people yelling "crucify Him" by the end of the week. We'll discuss that in Part III.)
Did they truly understand what was happening in that moment?
Today's Reading Plan:
Read Matthew 21:1-17, Mark 11:1-25, Luke 19:28-48, and John 12:12-19
You see the Jews had been waiting for a long time on God's appointed King to come and deliver them from Rome. They desperately wanted their freedom. When the word began to spread throughout the land that Jesus from Nazareth was going around performing miracles, I believe their hearts began to swell with hope. Could it be that finally our King has come to save us?
Then, the day arrived. Everyone was making their way to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration when all of a sudden Jesus came riding along the path. The people that were traveling with Him were still buzzing about the miracle they had just seen Him perform. He had just raised Lazarus from the dead! Then those folks began to tell the others as they passed by and we can only imagine the pandemonium!
This was it! Jesus was about to give those Romans a piece of His mind and liberate the Jews once and for all! So they thought... Jesus rides into the city peacefully and heads straight for the Temple. Mark records that He looked around and came back the next day while the other three Gospels suggest that the next event took place on the same day. All we know for sure is that Jesus' visit to the Temple (whether it was Sunday or Monday) was one that the people would never forget.
The people were selling and trading in the Temple in an effort to get over on those bringing their sacrifices for Passover. Mark 11:15-16 (NIV) says He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Now, I bet that quickly put an end to the shouts and excitement. Perhaps, the people were thinking, "now wait a minute Jesus, we need you to go along with our practices and teachings." "We need you to get the Romans in order, not us." What happened to their hope in that moment?
Have you ever been there? You were so hopeful about a situation and/or outcome only to find out that God had another plan. The crowd in the streets of Jerusalem were right that day. The King had come to save them, just not in the way they had expected. They had misconceived why the King of Kings had actually come. Have your expectations caused you to lose hope today? Will you be able to remain hopeful when the King of Kings comes riding into your life? His grand entrance into Jerusalem reminds us that He may not do exactly what we expect Him to do, but He will certainly do what needs to be done! Let Him heal your soul!
Share this post today with someone who needs a little hope!
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please help me to keep my hope in you even when I do not understand. When my expectations seem ignored remind that you are King of all. In Jesus' Name, Amen.