Friday, April 11, 2014

The King is Coming!

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:  Matthew 21:1-4

This Sunday is the day we remember the "triumphal entry" of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His resurrection.  This Sunday is Palm Sunday.  People lined the road to see Jesus and hail Him the King but then, later the same people were yelling “Crucify Him!”  Imagine you are lining the road to Jerusalem with your palm branch in your hand, eagerly awaiting the Messiah to come.  Will you be one of the crowd yelling “Crucify Him!”  too?

It is less than a week now until Jesus will be crucified.  He is outside of Jerusalem with some of the disciples and He is getting ready to go into Jerusalem.  He sent a couple of the disciples into the village to borrow a donkey colt and told them exactly where they would find it.  They found the donkey just as He had said and brought it to Him immediately.  This was a donkey colt, so it had never been ridden.  But Jesus rode this donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The disciples laid their coats on the donkey for Him to sit on, an act of homage for royalty.  The crowd laid their clothes and palm branches in the road for the same reason.  As He passed, they waved palm branches and praised Him and shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!  He went to the temple and taught, healed, and drove out the money changers.  He had come to deliberately declare that HE was The King of Israel, The anointed one, The promised Messiah and The one who had been predicted for centuries by the prophets of God.  The people lavished praise on Him because they wanted a deliverer.  They wanted someone to lead them in a revolt against Rome.  But when it became apparent that Jesus wasn’t going to be that kind of King, the crowds turned on Him. When He failed to meet their expectations, they became disenchanted with Him in a hurry and only a short time later and they were chanting “Crucify Him!”
How quick do we discard Jesus when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do in our lives?  We have a plan for the way we want things to go for us etched in our brain and then when it doesn’t happen that way, in a way we crucify Him again.  We may know that He knows best and all things work together for good, but when the plan doesn’t go our way, we lose sight of this truth.  Really, I would like to know when it DOES go the way we plan.  I know I personally spend more days “recalculating” my plans than actually seeing things turn out the way I planned.  Ultimately they turn out better but I may not see it in the moment.  His ways are not our ways and His plans are not our plans.  He sees the ending when we can’t even see the hand in front of our face. 
The people lining the road that day really did get the better deal - even though they meant it for pain.  Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.  As a result, we all can have salvation from our sins and eternal life, even the ones that were yelling “crucify Him!”  Oh wait… that is you and me too, right?
Blessed, merciful, Jesus, savior of the world; I am so thankful He rode that donkey that day and disappointed all those people who then crucified Him.  It was the divine plan all along.  Remember when you have to recalculate, trust the one who knows best, sees the ending and has the divine plan.

Scripture to Claim:
On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel." Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, "FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY'S COLT." John 12:12-15

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