They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" John 12:13
In the message on Palm Sunday, my pastor said something I’d not thought of before: The same people who shouted “Hosanna to the King of Israel” were shouting “Crucify him” a few days later.
Hmmm…I’m afraid I recognize myself in the crowd.
You see, the crowd had a vision of what Jesus should be. He was a king who was coming into Jerusalem to deliver them. Drive out the Romans, deliver them from the oppression of Rome, and restore Israel to the glory it had known in the time of their greatest king, David.
It quickly became apparent to them that Jesus wasn't who they thought he was. He didn't plan to deliver them from Rome. He didn't plan to restore Israel.
Kings don’t allow themselves to be arrested. Kings overthrow Roman rule instead of submitting to their scourging and mocking. Jesus didn't meet their expectations so they were angry to the point of wanting him dead!
What is your vision of Jesus?
I admit that I want a Jesus who does what I want.
- He meets all my expectations.
- He delivers me from any hardship that comes along.
- He overthrows those who try to defeat me.
- He rules in glory and restores me to joyful life I've always wanted.
I’ll sing his praises at the top of my voice:
"Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who has saved me and promises me a wonderful life!" "Blessed is the King of my heart!"
And then something happens.
- My heart breaks when a family relationship is strained.
- I panic when an unexpected bill comes in.
- I’m stunned when I lose my job.
- I’m overwhelmed by a tragedy: a sudden death, an unfaithful husband…
Wait! Where’s my Jesus?!
- He can snap His fingers and everything will be perfect again!
- He can show that family member that he’s wrong.
- He can drop a pile of money in my lap.
- He can protect my job
- He can protect my loved one and my marriage.
He’s not what I thought He would be. He’s let me down.
Anger, disappointment, even blame.
Am I so different that that crowd who shouted, “Crucify him!”
Praise the Lord! Jesus is beyond all that I can want or imagine.
He’s purpose isn't to give me a happy life.
His purpose is to yield to mockery and scourging.
His desire is to be obedient-even to death on the cross.
Hid goal is to free me from the grip of sin and to spend eternity with me.
My expectations fade from sight and all I can do is shout “Hosanna!”
How has Jesus exceeded your expectations?