Sunday, March 16, 2008

Turning Toward Him

The King of the Jews rode into Jerusalem the Sunday before His death with a crowd all around Him, cheering as He fulfilled a prophecy---

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9, NKJV)

They were thrilled. Their deliverance had arrived. The crowds were about to get what they wanted.


Jesus didn’t do what they wanted. He did turn over the tables in the temple courtyard which represented the greed of the establishment, but he didn’t annihilate the establishment. He did preach justice and mercy and truth. But he didn’t destroy everyone who wasn’t living according to God’s ways (mercifully, since no one could, not having the Holy Spirit). And He didn’t end Roman rule. So, the crowd, having watched for almost a week, and having not seen what they were looking for, turned on Him.

The same crowds (give or take a few) which cheered Jesus on Palm Sunday, jeered Him by the following Friday. All because Jesus didn’t fit into the mold they wanted to force on Him. The same crowd which had shouted “Hosanna in the highest!” would shout, five days later, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” They turned on Him.

How often do I do that? Turn on Him when He doesn’t do what I want? Or when I don’t understand what He’s up to.

See, He had a plan. He came to earth the first time as the Suffering Servant (see Isaiah 53 and many other passages in the Old Testament, including Psalm 22). He will come again as the conquering King. What the people of the First Century were expecting was the King of the post-20th century. (i.e., He could come at any moment, but He didn’t return through all the generations from the 1st through 20th centuries).

So, when I’m standing there in worship and His presence covers me and I say yes to Him and maybe even cheer while we sing and jump with abandon at church, I want to be totally committed. Then, when He’s up to something I can’t understand later in my life, I don’t want to turn on Him. I want to turn toward Him, no matter what. I want to trust His heart no matter what. I want to shun doubts and embrace the truth that God is for me, as His child.

He is faithful, no matter what.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Wow, so true Annette.

I like to think about Matthew 23:37when God says, "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing."

To me, this clarifys how God feels when we're suffering, confused, rebelious. That he's THERE and wants us to remember that instead of blaming him for the things that go wrong in our lives.

Great post. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter sunday.

Katie Johnson from Albuquerque