Today is the day we celebrate Palm Sunday in the church. A day that is somewhat confusing. It has hints of Easter-y, joyful celebration as a big parade welcomes Jesus to town; yet, knowing what is to come in the days ahead before Easter, it is also a somber event. Knowing that some of the same people who exalted him on that first Palm Sunday, were likely in the crowd just days later yelling, Crucify Him!
This story of Jesus entering the town on a donkey as people placed palm branches and their coats on the ground is familiar, yet each time I read it something new sticks. Today I especially noticed the desperation likely in these people. I mean, you don’t just cry out “SAVE US!” (which is what Hosanna means) for no reason. These people either had some hope that maybe, just maybe their Messiah had finally come or perhaps were just simply recognizing their need for a Savior. Either way, they were desperate for something.
From all that I’ve read about the events of this last week, it seems that while some in the crowd likely believed Jesus truly was their Messiah, many believed the Messiah would come and have an earthly Kingdom, not a heavenly one. Perhaps as they saw that Jesus wasn’t coming to kick Roman butt and take His place as an earthly King of the Jews, is what made the shift from “Hosanna” to “Crucify!”…. when Jesus didn’t come as they expected Him to.
But does Jesus ever really come as we expect?
Rarely have I seen that be the case in my life.
Oh, my Jesus ALWAYS comes through… He’s faithful like that! But rarely is it in the ways I expect. So as I enter into worship today, crying out with the crowd, “Hosanna!”, I do come with that same desperation and need that I think was behind the cries on the first Palm Sunday. But I hope that I also come without expectations of how Jesus will fulfill the needs in my heart. Being brutally beaten and killed would not have been in “Bekah’s plan of how God could save the world” … but thank God that He didn’t ask me! He knows what’s best in my life and I choose to give up unrealistic expectations and trust HIS ways are higher than I could ever imagine.
Hosanna! Save Me! Come Soon, Lord Jesus! How I long for the day when you will enter not on a donkey, but on a great white horse… not to be led to a cross to be killed, but to lead us to our Heavenly, forever-home. Hosanna! Come soon, Jesus! Save us! Amen