As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey,and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this? The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11 NIV
At the beginning of the week when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, his followers could never have imagined how that week would end. They could not have envisioned that in a few short days all their hopes and dreams would be dashed and they would be left wondering what had just happened. When the week began the emotions were high, this was their time, it was their day of rescue, it was the moment they had all been waiting for. But in what became an unseen turn of events for them, not for Jesus, left them in a place of desperation, brokenness, and a sense of utter abandonment.
When we try and lay out the way God is working and think that we have it all figured out we will find ourselves a place of being shaken. God does not often work in the way we think He should, but don’t be lulled into thinking that just because He is doing something different than we thought does not mean He is not working.
While the disciples were shaken and rattled to the core over the disappointment in what seemed to be unfolding, they were failing to see an eternal plan of salvation was being worked out for all mankind. What they seen for themselves and for their generation, God was doing for all generations, and all mankind. What seemed like the end for them of all they had hoped for was actually the beginning of life for all who would turn to Jesus and allow Him to be King of their lives.
Our present moment can cause us to focus on what appears to be and if we become narrow sighted in the present moment we too could miss how God is working in our world today. This triumphal entrance of Jesus that began a week of change and shifting for His disciples was not the absence of God working, but God truly working in a way that was greater than our minds could ever grasp. Maybe, today He is doing something similar. Not in the sense of sacrificing for mankind because that has already been done, but in the sense that things really may not be as they appear. Maybe He is doing a great thing that will only be seen to those who can look beyond the discomfort and keep their gaze upon the One who is always working for His chosen ones.
The week that started out wonderful and packed full of dreams ends with a crucified Saviour who died on a cruel cross. It ends with his followers running away and following from a distance. It brings one of His greatest followers to a point of denial and reveals the weakness of Peter’s heart. Yet, in all of that, God continued to work. He does not give up on us in our weakest places but rather intercedes for us that when we come through we will become strong men who follow Him fully. Maybe this present moment could bring about something we never imagined in the church, in the world, and in our lives personally.
In closing, I leave you with three questions to consider:
1. Could it be that the present situation is a display of His mercy calling us to seek Him?
2. Could it be that what looks like fear of the future could become a place where faith causes the church to arise?
3. Could it be that that which looks like weakness could be the seed that purifies the church?
Could it be? I pray that it truly be….