Lent Reflections @ CEC (4/3/20)
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom
SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: Mark 11:1-11
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ”They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus is heading to Jerusalem and a crowd comes out to praise Him.
They cried out, “Hosanna”, which means save.
They were praising the man who would be their Savior.
They cried out “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David”.
They were praising the man who would be their King.
They were rejoicing that their Savior and King had come, and he had. But over the next week he would not do the things they expected their Savior and King to do. He would not save them from the Romans. He would not replace Caesar as king.
Less that a week later another crowd will call for Jesus to be crucified. I don’t think that this is the same crowd. The disciples fled when Jesus was arrested. If they were in this crowd they were silent. Their Savior and their King was not supposed to be crucified. Obviously, He was not who they thought he was.
In John’s gospel he notes that even the disciples did not understand what was happening at the time but not until after Jesus was glorified. John knew this from firsthand experience since he was one of the 12. He knew the despair. Luke tells that story of two believers on the road to Emmaus who said, “We thought that He was the one who would restore the kingdom of Israel. They felt the disappointment.
Despair and disappointment are the children of wrong expectations. Jesus had been trying to teach His disciples to prepare for what was coming. He was trying to change their expectations. They wanted a different kind of Savior and a different kind of King. They wanted to rule and reign. He told them to be part of His kingdom they must suffer and serve. He told them to be the greatest they must become the servant of all.
Only the experience of seeing the glorified Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit was able to change their expectations. Pastor Ryan recently asked us the same question that Jesus asked of Peter. “Who do you say that I am?” I say that Jesus is my Savior and my Lord. Only Jesus gets to define what that means. Peter didn’t get to tell Jesus what it meant and neither do I. Neither do we.
We praise Jesus as Savior and we praise Him as Lord on Sunday when we are with the crowd that praises Him as Savior and Lord.
May we praise him on Monday when he comes back to town and there is no parade. When he starts to offend. When He starts to do things that are unpopular.
May we praise him on Wednesday when respected men speak badly of him and plot to get rid of Him.
May we praise Him on Friday when things get rough. When suffering and death become a real part of our world may we not sit silently in the crowd.
May we praise Him on Saturday when all hope seems lost and our expectations are crushed.
Because another Sunday was coming and it changed the world. He is our Savior. He is our Lord. May He open our eyes to what that really means for us and our world. Because there is always another Sunday coming.
Jesus, help us to praise You every single day. Let us raise our hallelujah no matter what point in the week we find ourselves. Give us hope and remind us once again that Sunday's coming.