This week, I can’t help but think of Jesus, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey with crowds shouting praise all around him, exclaiming their king had come. They had waited so long for deliverance, for rescue, for a ruler with righteousness.
They were filled with joy at the thought of restoration – a king to rule over Israel.
Jesus was filled with sorrow because He wanted to restore their souls, rule over their hearts.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
The Jews were so busy looking for a ruler that they didn’t see their redeemer.
Within a week, the city that had welcomed him with cries of “Hosanna!” would convict him with cries of “Crucify!”
I’ve always wondered why? How could they be so fickle? How could they turn so quickly against the one they had praised? Simply put, I think that their king had come, but they didn’t recognize his kingdom.
They saw his power; it caused them to praise. But his teachings? Those were harder to handle. The man who could raise the dead to life wanted to actually change their lives.
I think I understand their change of heart a bit better now.
Because I have the same dilemma daily.
Jesus is absolutely king of everything. From the highest heavens to the deepest depths, he is sovereign. There is no ruler he can’t veto or law he can’t change.
Still, he lets us choose who rules our hearts.
He said, “If any man would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
We get to choose to obey our king or not.
Every single day.
Either way, he is still our king. We either live in obedience or in rebellion.
Just like the Jews of Jesus’ day.
So why should we choose differently than they did?
Because our King brings Peace
Jesus offers the same peace to his people today that he wanted to give Jerusalem that day. We need it every bit as much as they did, too. We are harassed and helpless, slaves to fear and sin. Jesus still sets people free. He brings peace, regardless of our problems. It’s one of the last things he promised his disciples.
He said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus never promised a life without problems. He promised a life with peace.
Because our King brings Righteousness
One of the ways he brings us peace is through righteousness. In a world full of corrupt rulers, we have a righteous one.
What does that even mean though?
It means he always does what is right. He tells the truth. What he says, he actually does.
We can trust him.
As king of our hearts, he helps us live with righteousness, too.
I once spoke with a man who was selling trinkets on the shores of the Indian Ocean. We talked for a while before he told me that he wasn’t saved because he knew that if he became saved he would have to stop overcharging the tourists. If he did, how would he feed his family?
Y’all, here was a man who knew that life in Christ brought change. He was honest about his fear of changing. It was valid, too. He understood the need for change, the call for Christians to live righteously. What he didn’t quite comprehend was the fact that Jesus is the one who enables us to do it.
After all, “God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Because our King is Victorious
A week after his triumphant entry, Jesus was lying in the grave. It didn’t seem like his kingdom amounted to much then. He appeared defeated, destroyed.
But he wasn’t.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening stood beside them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!'” (Luke 24:1-6)
He was victorious over death, and he still is. After he finished his work here on earth, he sat down at the right hand of God. He reigns there forever, serving as our high priest until he returns to earth as its rightful ruler.
Because he will, you know.
He came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey. One day, he’ll return riding on clouds. (Mark 13:26)
It’s Encouraging Word Wednesday! I’m so glad you’re here. I can’t wait to read your encouraging, faith-filled posts this week! Please try to visit a link or two and offer encouragement to others!