THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECT
As we approach Palm Sunday, it is worth taking a moment to consider the unexpected nature of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. What happened on that day was not what the crowds expected, nor was it what the disciples expected. Even today, we may find ourselves with preconceived notions of what Jesus came to do, but the events of Palm Sunday remind us that his mission was far greater than we could ever imagine.
Context of Palm Sunday
Jerusalem was buzzing with excitement during the Passover celebration, with an estimated 180,000 people in the city. Among the crowds, Jesus was the most influential figure, drawing people to him despite their old religious traditions. However, Jesus had not come to Jerusalem to lead a political revolution or to overthrow Roman rule. Instead, his goal was to die.
The Triumphal Entry
On the day of the triumphal entry, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the ancient prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. The crowd met him with palm branches and cloaks, expecting a new political leader who would save them from oppression. They saw Jesus as the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams for a new era of peace and prosperity. However, Jesus had come to Jerusalem for a different purpose. He did not come to lead a rebellion against political corruption, but against the corruption in the temple. Jesus came with humility and servanthood, not armies and splendor. He came to rule in hearts and minds, bringing eternal peace that surpasses all understanding.
The people’s hopes, desires, and expectations of Jesus were far too small to contain all that he was about to do. The people were only considering him fit to lead their rebellion against Rome, but Jesus was coming to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ crucifixion was a result of the people’s disappointment when he did not deliver on their terms and conditions.
As we reflect on Palm Sunday, let us remember that Jesus came to fulfill a much greater purpose than what we might expect. He came not to overthrow earthly powers, but to conquer sin and death. He came not to rule over a temporal kingdom, but to reign over our hearts and minds. May we embrace the unexpected nature of Jesus’ mission and follow him with wholehearted devotion.