Are we trusting King Jesus when life doesn’t go as planned? Or like the crowd at the Triumphal Entry, do we want a king of our own making? Let’s drop in on them for a bit…
The crowd gathered, jostling for a spot along the dusty road. Already the city was crowded with pilgrims and scores of religious elites who’d come up for the Passover.
But now, as word spread about the miracle, the crowds grew even more. The Teacher had brought a man back to life after he’d been dead three days. Was it true? Some kind of sign? What kind of man could do this?
The kind of man who could do something for them.
The kind of man who might finally throw off the oppression of Rome. The kind of man who could give them a miracle too and heal their sick one, fix their impossible.
People lined the street, chattering with anticipation. Children played with the palmed fronds their parents had cut on the way, pausing to crane every now and again to see who would catch the first glimpse of the Teacher coming down the mount.
Soon enough, he came into view, sitting atop a small colt. A cluster of men and women went ahead of him and another followed. He wasn’t dressed like a king. He didn’t even look rich. But still the excitement grew as he neared the city.
Men threw their cloaks on the road as homage to this one they would make king. Fathers lifted little ones to their shoulders so they could see while other children now fanned their palm branches in celebration. With jubilant voices, the crowd joined together in praise —
“Hosanna! Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
What a glorious moment bursting with hope. Surely, this was a sign of good times. That God in visiting His people would usher in blessing upon blessing. And that this King, who had healed the sick, cast out demons, made the lame walk, given sight to the blind and now raised a man from the dead – this King could do so much for them.
I think of these men and women harboring deep needs, painful losses, chronic suffering, weary hearts with the expectancy that Jesus would take it all away and I wonder —
Have I too made Jesus a king to do my bidding?
Within the week, this crowd would completely turn when it turned out Jesus wouldn’t wield his power like they wanted him to. Lest we think we’re all that different, let’s run through a few test scenarios.
When we don’t get the life we ordered, do we make a mental record that God’s let us down?
When life implodes in loss, will we still trust that God is good and is doing good right now?
When the miracle we’ve prayed for doesn’t come, will we accuse our King for not wielding his power like we wanted him to?
The crowd wanted a king to satisfy their world when Christ came to save the world.
Jesus loves us too much to let us settle for a king of our own making. While he certainly could wield his power to give us the life we ordered and the miracle we crave, he’s given us something far, far better.
Jesus, we esteem you as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We bow our knee to you and ask you to realign our heart to yours. When we don’t understand your ways, help us to trust you. When our prayer isn’t answered, help us to wait for you. When we’re walking through the hard place, help us to endure with you. In your name we pray, Amen.