After3 is a blog series intended to help you prepare this Holy Week...to anticipate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Yesterday Jesus rode into Jerusalem with the Passover quickly approaching.
Passover only heightened the Jewish masses' appetite for deliverance. Scattered Jews converged in Jerusalem not simply to celebrate the historical exodus from Egypt but to lean into history for the sake of the future. Passover anticipated the next exodus...freedom from Roman and all foreign dominion. Passover, like the famous Bonnie Tyler hit, was like living in a powder keg and giving off sparks (Oh yes I did! I just quoted Turn Around. At least you don't have to hear me sing it). In other words, Passover was charged. Something was likely to happen. Perhaps this Passover would be the moment God would raise up his Anointed One, the new King of Israel!
Yesterday Jesus rode into Jerusalem draped in the image of a coming king.
Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, a sign reminiscent of King Solomon's coronation (I Kings 1:32-33). The festival crowds welcomed Jesus by spreading their coats before him just as they had done hundreds of years before at King Jehu's coronation (II Kings 9:13). As he made his way through the tunnel of people they sang words of hope and salvation over him: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!...who comes to save us! Among the crowd, some looked to Jesus as the coming king, the one who would initiate the New Passover.
They were right but they were wrong. Jesus was a king, but a king far removed from their expectations.
Kings assert power. Kings lead battles with weapons that maim and kill. Kings live in palaces, put their image on gold coins, demand reverence, sit on thrones, build monuments for their name, command servants, institute taxes, and eat the best food! Kings go first!
Jesus came as a king...as The King, but he came to surrender his power. He led the battle against sin by submitting to death. He lived among the people. He fed the hungry. He paid taxes. We posses no original depiction of his image. The only monument in his name is a symbol of execution, his only crown...one fashioned of thorns. He went last!
Yesterday Jesus rode into Jerusalem to die as King.
As you enter Holy Week may you walk the path of The King:
- Use your power to give life rather than take it.
- Don't always have the last word.
- Forgive easily.
- Treat your servers and cashiers as people.
- Lift up those who are beneath you...employees, children and students.
- Give instead of taking.
- Boast about others instead of yourself.
- Invest in making other people successful.
- Celebrate others.
- Speak encouraging words.
- Let someone "cut in" during rush hour.
- Pick the least athletic kids for your summer baseball team.
- Give credit to others when things go well and take responsibility when things don't.
- Go last!
Yesterday Jesus rode into Jerusalem.