‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord’ (Luke 19:38) cry the crowd on the first Palm Sunday as they quote from Ps 118. In that quotation are all of their hopes and dreams. Here is God’s messiah, the saviour. But not the messiah they wanted, not the saviour they thought they were going to get!
Jesus enters Jerusalem, an occupied city, crushed and despairing because of Roman rule and oppression. Their lives, their liberty, their religion which they had held dear since Abraham was under threat. Others had risen up in protest and rebellion only to be brutally crushed. But now here came Jesus, the miracle worker, the one sent by God. So they welcomed him as a conquering king, the one to rescue them from their Roman oppressors.
It’s at this point that I can’t help but wonder what they made of the donkey! Perhaps that should have been the first clue that things weren’t quite as they seemed, perhaps that should have been the one detail which made them re-evaluate who this King really was and what he had come to do? Jesus didn’t enter Jerusalem as a conquering King with armour, sword and army. He entered in meekness and humility revealing a very different attitude to power and offering a very different salvation. The King has come not to slaughter his enemies but to be slaughtered by them. Jesus turns their expectations upside down, and because he didn’t act in the way they expected, they turned on him, rejected him, and a few days later some of them were probably in another crowd, this time shouting, ‘Crucify’.
As we reflect on Palm Sunday and the lead up to Easter, let us reflect on the truth that God doesn’t always work in the way that we want him to. He doesn’t always act in the way that we expect him to and sometimes it can seem like he rips up the rule book and starts again! So just because we might not understand how God is working in our lives, let’s not take offense at God but let’s remember that God is always in control and always working for the good of those who know and love him (Rom 8:28) even if we don’t understand what he’s doing.
With much love,
- Tim & Kate Meathrel
Posted on Monday, 26th March 2018