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!
What a wonderful reflection on our King that prepares us for the celebration of His resurrection! Thank you for the reminder that Our King is always victorious and never defeated by anything! Hallelujah!!
So thankful that he “always leads us in triumphal procession”! He has given us the victory, too!
Ifeoma Samuel says
Thank you Thank you.
Charlie, this is a beautiful devotion for Easter.
God bless your faithfulness here.
Thank you, Ifeoma! Blessings to you!
Homestyle Faith says
Wonderful devotion! Sunday’s coming!
Visiting from Holley Gerth – Coffee for Your Heart
Hey, Mississippi Mom! I am a returned to Mississippi older Mom. Of course seeing your blog title, I had to investigate. I read your about page…and what you see in Mississippi. Most of Mississippi is rural and yes there is poverty, uneducated individuals, and those who have never had the chance to succeed. Here is what I learned by leaving the little town of Charleston, Mississippi and explore the entire USA. I left because I needed a good job, or any job for that matter. First I lived in Denver, then moved home, then to Atlanta, and then back to Memphis.
When I moved back to Memphis from Atlanta after working for Freddie Mac, I started traveling over our country to audit loans for sale to Freddie. I saw and reviewed many people, from New York City to Florida, to San Francisco and beyond. I found there are issues everywhere that need to be address by those who have “learned,” about the most important deficiencies of life. I learned that no matter where you go, you must be sure of “who you are,” and that being a Christian does not exempt you from hard times or people stabbing you in the back. You see I was a preacher’s kid….adult, raised that being a Christian was more important than anything. It is, however, one must be taught about “real” life, and what is out in the world that we all have to face. Some of it was a shocker to me because I thought that everybody should LOVE me. They did not and of course it had nothing to do with me.
In a world of lots of glamour, you still have sickness, you have the oppressed, the confused, those with drug addiction (and, in fact more), and those who have no clue of who God is. Yes, the rural part of the country is lacking in many things, but what I found when I worked for about a year in Batesville, MS that most rural people, pay their debts, tell the truth, and believe that a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. I was a little surprised by this having lived in Memphis with so much “bad” credit. Working as a Loan Officer taught me that you cannot judge a book by the cover as I was privy to financial information and people’s background. I was in mortgage lending so…
In New York you must hold on to your purse to make sure no one snatches it away. I am NOT being defensive of being a Mississippian, never, what I am saying is if you look at the some of the high places of life, NY, Washington etc., you have those who desperate to take down Conservative people, issues, Christianity and anyone who does not agree with them. I sit back and watch these people, feel sorry for them as they think some of us are unlearned, what did Hillary call the conservatives? I think it was deplorable.
You see to me, we are in a time of trouble, and it does not consist of the people living in rural areas it is those people who live in the so called “land of value, and opportunity.” They have become the people who want to dictate their views, rules and ideology on the rest of us. They know more than we do. I had rather be poor, unlearned, and humble than to be one who hates my fellow American. God is love, forgiveness and will always help those who help themselves.
I think we can learn something of value wherever we live, and be an example, and prove that God loves the humble just as equally as the mighty.