By Matt Gordon
As the death and resurrection of Jesus draws near, so must Jesus. Sat astride a donkey, he rode into the city to the cheering crowd. “Hosanna!” they yelled. It was a call for salvation, “Save, I pray! Save.”
It was a starkly different call than the one that came later in the week for Jesus. Crowds made up of some of these same people frothed, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Are our hearts as fickle as theirs?
The answer would depend on our hopes.
The people that day were ready for a Savior, but not one that would save them from themselves, but one that would give them even more of themselves. Individuals were longing for a political leader, a power source, from whom they would receive earthly comfort and blessing and protection.
Their longing for salvation wasn’t wrong, but it stopped entirely short of the salvation which was needed. “Save, I pray,” they said, but their prayers were for earthbound existence, stopping far short of Heaven. Jesus came to bring more; Jesus is more.
The people wanted a King, but one who represented them. Instead they were getting a replacement. One who would take their places in the judgment dock and pay their debts forever. They wanted to hoist a hero, but instead would hurl Jesus down. He would become sin so that they might become righteousness.
This fickleness of heart wasn’t the last word, though. God’s faithfulness forever is. His love endures forever.
Psalm 118 speaks of this enduring love. It focuses on one hard-pressed and hemmed in, yet delivered to open spaces by a good God; one tired and scared, being emboldened to courage; one at a loss, being handed sweet victory.
In one section the Psalm sings, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”
That day of triumphal entry, the crowds cheered, but so many settled for a good human, a wise teacher, a worker of wonders. But what they missed is the Divine, and the Divine Plan with which this suffering servant—the Lord and King—was operating.
As we approach a time when we reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus, what hopes do we carry with us? And heavy as those hopes may be, do we trust the shoulders of Jesus to bear them?
In Jesus, there is victory and his love endures forever.
15 Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
17 I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
Let us join in the shouts of joy and victory of the ages. Shouts that are ever rising, like our hopes, on a God who can do all things, a God who lives, who dies, and who lives again; on a God who approaches. His love endures forever. Save, I pray! Save.